Labor commissioner says appeals system is broken

PORTLAND — The head of the top appeals board at the Department of Labor said Thursday that unemployment claims officers at a lower level of appeals are “repeatedly” omitting evidence and testimony, which is resulting in unfair hearings.

State Workers

We are receiving reports from state workers who feel they have been pressured to break rules or do things they feel are unethical.

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Earlier stories:

Jeanne Paquette

Jennifer Duddy, chairwoman of the Unemployment Insurance Commission, said she and Gov. Paul LePage shared those concerns with hearing officers at a March 21 luncheon hosted by LePage at the Blaine House.

The Sun Journal reported Thursday that a number of Labor Department employees allege LePage had pressured hearing officers at that luncheon to rule more appeals in favor of employers and fewer in favor of workers.

Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette said Thursday that she and LePage have fielded many complaints from both business owners and workers who felt the hearing process was flawed.

Duddy and Paquette, who attended the luncheon (Paquette for only half an hour), said they felt LePage's tone was cordial. They said they didn't get the impression LePage was seeking to make the outcome of hearing officers' cases more favorable to the business community, as alleged by other sources who said they felt intimidated by the governor at that luncheon.

Paquette suggested the appeals system at her department was broken and ought to be fixed.

Duddy said she and the two other members of the Unemployment Insurance Commission felt there was a troubling trend of appeals coming to them from the Division of Administrative Hearings in which evidence and testimony that should have been considered had been excluded by hearing officers. Of the three members of the commission, one is designated to represent labor and one is designated to represent business. The chairman has no designation. All three members are appointed by the governor.

When she approached the chief hearing officer about the apparent problem, she said she was told the hearing officers “don't answer to the commission.”

For the full story, see Friday's Sun Journal.

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Comments

Thank you Duddy and Paquette

Thank you Duddy and Paquette for setting the record straight! Sad that the workers who are protected by MSEA place blame on the Governor.

I find it interesting that this comes out after the public hearings on the Right to Work bills and how state workers testified in favor of having a choice to belong to a union or not and that I personally testified on the bullying I received at the hands of my union's, (MSEA), agents. We also showed how the system is broken with trying to report the failure of representation. Some members who already pay in excess of $600 per year in dues have to hire an attorney to get their union to represent them and when that goes unheard at the MLRB level(Maine Labor Relations Board,the monitoring organization).

Now , after negative testimony concerning certain unions, we have state workers coming out of the woodwork saying they felt pressured to do a bad thing to our unemployed population and that it took place back in March.

I've never been asked to do a bad thing and I work for a state agency. The only beef I have is with the union forcing me to put up with bullying behavior by their own agents and having to pay for it. I believe the allegations about Governor LePage are politically based and we are satisfied that the statements from Duddy and Paquette have set the record straight on the false witnessing.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

This should really get interesting.......

"Duddy and Paquette felt Governor Lepage's tone was cordial". Get the hip boots out folks, this stuff could get deep. This is just the first of many vollies of heartfelt BS in support of the most cordial governor.
The guy has gone out of his way to maintain the appearance of the tough guy on the block. The guy picks on the weak, one of the biggest traits of a bully. He's like a "blow fish" in a lot of ways, when he wants to look big, he inflates himself. His tough talk has now come back to bite him in the ass. We are now going to hear one delusional story after another, as to what a kind, cordial, sweet heart of a man he really is. I'm waiting for the one about him being tough on the outside but just a big soft teddy bear on the inside. I just hope I don't hear that one while I'm trying to eat.
I believe 100% that he said and did what they say he did. I just truly hope he has just as much fun dealing with this, as the poor people he so often screwed to push his demented agenda, forcing them to find alternate medicines and medical help. Why shouldn't we assume he would prefer the wealthy prosper over the poor, next thing you know, someones going to imply the guy's got scruples.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Should you believe Robinson's tweet, before you read the whole?

While there is no way of knowing if LePage actually said this, there are plenty of reasons to believe it’s the truth, according to a ten-page internal memo obtained by The MAINE WIRE pursuant to a Freedom of Access Act request.

From your own link.....

Mark Elliott's picture

LOL....you should stay out of

LOL....you should stay out of the sauce and read again. Remember your grammar rules from elementary school. The article states:

"LePage, the anonymous sources said, told the group of DOL employees that they were “doing their jobs poorly.”

While there is no way of knowing if LePage actually said this, there are plenty of reasons to believe it’s the truth"

Here is what anyone with common sense will tell you it means:

While there is no way of knowing if LePage actually said this, (actually said DOL employees were “doing their jobs poorly.”)

there are plenty of reasons to believe it’s the truth" (that DOL employees are “doing their jobs poorly.”)

and it states 6 reasons why it is believed DOL employees are “doing their jobs poorly.”.......

Unbelievable ..... debating with a liberal is like debating with a 6 year old.....

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

FYI

Haven't had any vices for 30 years

Mark Elliott's picture

....and those reasons are????

....and those reasons are????

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Read the link

In the link are the 6 reasons...

proceed....

Mark Elliott's picture

LOL....you should stay out of

LOL....you should stay out of the sauce and read again. Remember your grammar rules from elementary school. The article states:

"LePage, the anonymous sources said, told the group of DOL employees that they were “doing their jobs poorly.”

While there is no way of knowing if LePage actually said this, there are plenty of reasons to believe it’s the truth"

Here is what anyone with common sense will tell you it means:

While there is no way of knowing if LePage actually said this, (actually said DOL employees were “doing their jobs poorly.”)

there are plenty of reasons to believe it’s the truth" (that DOL employees are “doing their jobs poorly.”)

and it states 6 reasons why it is believed DOL employees are “doing their jobs poorly.”.......

Unbelievable ..... debating with a liberal is like debating with a 6 year old.....

 's picture

wow, what a shock. state

wow, what a shock. state employees doing something unethical like omitting information in order to hand out benefits, they get caught and spoken to about it, and they are upset because no one said "pretty please" when they were called out. same state worker stuff, cry about hurt feelings when caught breaking the rules. this is how fraud is covered up, by state workers omitting info and manipulating case work.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Fox guarding the chicken coop

Duddy said she and the two other members of the Unemployment Insurance Commission (all are appointed by the governor, one representing labor and one representing business owners)

Duddy and Paquette, who attended the luncheon (Paquette for only half an hour) said they felt LePage's tone was cordial. They said they didn't form the impression LePage was seeking to influence the outcome of hearing officers' cases to be more favorable to the business community as alleged by other sources who said they felt intimidated by the governor at that luncheon.

Really as if Fuddy Duddy is not siding with her employer(LePage), since that she not need to apply for benefits that she would not deny herself as long as she kissed LePages pittudy?

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