Dept. Of Labor To Reinstate Work Search Requirement To Obtain Unemployment Benefits

Aug 7, 2020

The Maine Department of Labor announced Friday that it is reinstating work search requirements for some individuals receiving employment benefits.

Screenshot of Fortman and Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Nirav Shah speaking at a press briefing April 30
Credit Maine Public

During an online legislative briefing, Labor Department Commissioner Laura Fortman said individuals who are permanently separated from their employers must engage in work search activities beginning Sunday, August 9. She says this is being done in response to Maine's relatively low rates of COVID-19 transmission and the reopening of businesses in the state.

“People are opening gradually and putting appropriate precautions in place, but there is reopening, and we all want to see that continue.”

Fortman says that in response to the pandemic work search activities have been expanded and include a number of virtual options.

Individuals who are still connected to an employer, including those who are self-employed, are not required to actively search for work until 30 days after the state's Civil Emergency Ends.