Code of Maine Rules
12 - Labor
12 172 - Maine Unemployment Insurance Commission
Chapter 6 - Seasonal Industry Program

Universal Citation: 12 ME Code Rules § 6

12 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

172 MAINE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION

Chapter 6: SEASONAL INDUSTRY PROGRAM

SUMMARY: This chapter details the procedures for: the determination of seasonal industries; payment of benefits for unemployment based on seasonal wages; and for charging and assessing employers for benefits paid on the basis of seasonal wages.

1. Seasonal industries.

A. A "seasonal industry" shall mean an industry which has been determined to be seasonal by the commission or so designated under subsection 3 of section 1251 of the Employment Security Law.

A-1 A "non-seasonal industry" shall mean an industry which the commission has determined not to be a seasonal industry or an industry for which no determination by the commission has been made.

B. Investigation of Industries Alleged to be Seasonal. The commission shall investigate the seasonal nature of any industry on its own initiative or upon receipt of a petition for a seasonal determination signed by at least 5 employers who claim to be members of the industry, or by a majority of the employers who claim to be members of the industry if there are fewer than 5 employers who claim to be members of that industry.

C. Submission of Factual Data. Each member of the industry in question shall, upon request by the commission, submit such records and reports as the commission may deem necessary to indicate the seasonal or non-seasonal nature of his or her operations.

D. Seasonal Determination of Seasonal Industries.

1. After each such investigation, the commission shall hold a hearing for the purpose of determining whether the industry is seasonal and if so, to determine the longest seasonal period or periods during which, by the best practice of the industry, operations are conducted.

2. The commission shall publish notice of such hearing in such newspapers as required by law for state notices and shall also give notice to all interested parties insofar as the same are known to the commission.

3. At the hearing, evidence shall be received from the staff of the bureau, from employers, and from workers or their representatives. Such evidence may be received by the commission even though inadmissible under the rules of evidence applicable to court procedure.

4. After hearing, the commission shall make its determination, a certified copy of which shall be maintained in the office of the commission and the bureau. Each determina­tion shall cover at least the following:

a. The delimitation of the industry to which the determination is applicable.

b. A list of employers included therein insofar as they are known to the commission and the bureau.

c. The operations of the industry to which the determination applies.

d. The beginning and ending dates of the period or periods of the operations to which the determination applies.

5. If the industry is determined to be seasonal, the commission shall cause a notice of the determination to be published in such news­papers as required by law for state notices within 10 days after the determination is made and also shall cause an attested copy of the determination to be filed with the secretary of state. Employers in the indus­try known to be interested therein shall be given notice of such determination by mail.

6. If the industry is determined to be non-seasonal in its operations, notice thereof shall be given to known interested parties.

E. Reconsideration of Seasonal Determinations.

1. The commission, either on its own initiative or on receipt of a petition signed by at least 5 employers or employees, shall reconsider the seasonal nature or seasonal period or periods of the operations of an industry when there is alleged to be:

a. An error in the prior determination; or

b. Changed conditions in the industry; or

c. New facts discovered since the prior determination.

2. Procedure on reconsideration shall follow that required for an original determination.

F. Special Reports by Employers in Seasonal Indus­tries. Employers in seasonal industries shall make such reports with respect to employment as may be required by the bureau.

G. Applicability of Seasonal Regulations. Determina­tions with respect to seasonal industries, the operations thereof, and the period or periods thereof shall apply to all employers in fact engaged in the respective industries whether or not so engaged as of the effective date of the determination.

H. Multiple Seasonal Periods. If an employer conducts operations in a seasonal industry during 2 or more determined periods which overlap or are consecutively continuous without interruptions exceeding 14 days between them, such 2 or more periods shall be deemed to be 1 period as to such employer.

I. Winter Operations. If an employer operates during a regularly recurring period which overlaps two successive calendar years, the period of operations at the start of a calendar year shall be added to the period of operations at the end at such calendar year in order to determine whether the operations are conducted for less than 26 weeks. Determinations made under this subsection that an employer is or is not seasonal shall apply to the employer's operations for the next succeeding calendar year.

2. Payment of benefits.

A. Definitions.

1. "Seasonal work" shall mean employment in seasonal industries within the determined seasonal period or periods.

2. "Seasonal unemployment" shall mean an indivi­dual's unemployment occurring within the seasonal period or periods corresponding to the seasonal period or periods in which the individual earned his or her base period wages.

3. "Non-seasonal work" shall mean employment in non-seasonal industries or employment in seasonal industries outside of the determined seasonal period or periods.

4. "Non-seasonal unemployment" shall mean an individual's entire period of unemployment if the individual has no base period wages in employment by a seasonal employer or an individual's unemployment occurring outside of the seasonal period or periods correspond­ing to the seasonal period or periods in which the individual earned his or her base period wages.

5. "Seasonal employer" shall mean in employer that pays seasonal wages.

6. "Non-seasonal employer" shall mean an employ­er that pays non-seasonal wages.

7. "Seasonal wages" shall mean wages paid for seasonal work during the seasonal period or periods by an employer in a seasonal industry.

8. "Non-seasonal wages" shall mean wages paid by an employer in a non-seasonal industry or wages paid for any services performed outside of the seasonal period or periods by an employer in a seasonal industry.

B. Benefits Predicated Upon Wages Earned in Seasonal Industries.

1. The wage-class, weekly benefit amount, and maximum benefits available shall be deter­mined in the usual manner using wages for both seasonal and non-seasonal work in the base period.

2. An individual who has earned all his or her base period wages in seasonal work shall be entitled to benefits only for seasonal unemployment.

3. An individual having base period wages from both seasonal and non-seasonal work shall be entitled to his or her maximum available benefits for seasonal unemployment, but shall be entitled to benefits for non-seasonal unemployment for only the total amount of available benefits to which he or she would have been entitled if the benefits had been determined solely on the non-seasonal base period wages. Except that when the non-seasonal base period wages are wholly from an employer liable for payments in lieu of contributions, then the benefit payments for the non-seasonal unemployment shall not exceed the employer's proportionate share of the maximum amount of benefits.

C. Fair Hearing. Any benefit determination made under the provisions of this section shall be subject to appeal and opportunity for fair hearing as to any issue involved therein.

3. Charging and Assessing for Benefits.

A. Benefits for Seasonal Unemployment.

Benefits paid for seasonal unemployment shall be charged to the experience rating record of the claimant's most recent subject seasonal or non-seasonal employer in accordance with subsection 3 of section 1221 of the Employment Security Law. Seasonal employers who are liable for payments in lieu of contributions shall be assessed for bene­fits paid for seasonal unemployment in accordance with subsection 14 of section 1221 of the Employ­ment Security Law.

B. Benefits for Non-seasonal Unemployment. The experience rating record of the claimant's most recent subject non-seasonal employer shall be charged with non-seasonal unemployment benefits paid to individuals when such benefits are not chargeable by law to the general fund. Non-seasonal employers who are liable for payments in lieu of contributions shall be assessed for benefits paid for non-seasonal unemployment in accordance with subsection 14 of section 1221 of the Employment Security Law.

C. Nothing in this section shall prevent the experi­ence rating record of employers in seasonal indus­tries from being charged with benefits paid for non-seasonal unemployment when such employer has paid non-seasonal wages to an individual and the employer is the most recent employer for whom the individual's work record exceeds 5 consecutive weeks of total or partial employment.

D. Nothing in this rule shall prevent the transfer of wages in accordance with the requirements and procedures provided for in the reciprocal benefit arrangements made in accordance with subsection 12 of section 1082 of the Employment Security Law. Whenever wages from seasonal work, which was performed for an employer who is liable for contributions, are transferred to another state, all charges for benefit payments which are based on such wages shall be made to the General Fund.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 26 MRSA § 1251

EFFECTIVE DATE:

October 3, 1973 (Filed w/ Sec. of State - 10-6-78)

AMENDED:

August 10, 1981

October 2, 1989 -sec. 3(C)

September 6, 1993

EFFECTIVE DATE (ELECTRONIC CONVERSION):

July 2, 1996

NON-SUBSTANTIVE CORRECTIONS:

July 1, 1998 - formatting and punctuation; conversion to MS Word 2.0 format.

AMENDED:

May 30, 2000

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