An Act To Protect Jobs in the State by Requiring Advance Notice of Closure of Call Centers
Sec. 1. 26 MRSA c. 43 is enacted to read:
CALL CENTER RETENTION
§ 3501. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 3502. Notice requirement; list of employers
§ 3503. Grants; guaranteed loans; tax benefits
§ 3504. In-state procurement
An agency head shall ensure that all call center work contracted for by the agency is performed by contractors or their agents or subcontractors that are located entirely within the State.
§ 3505. State benefits for workers
This chapter may not be construed to permit withholding or denial of payments, compensation or benefits under any other state law, including state unemployment compensation, disability payments or worker retraining or readjustment funds, from or to employees employed by employers that relocate to a foreign country. Nothing in this chapter alters any of the responsibilities of call centers pursuant to section 625-B.
Sec. 2. Contract with State. An employer who on the effective date of this Act is under contract with the State to perform call center work and performs that work outside the State has 2 years to comply with the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 26, chapter 43, except that if the employer adds employees to perform call center work under the contract, the new employees must immediately be employed within the State.
Sec. 3. Effective date. This Act takes effect 180 days after adjournment of the First Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.
This bill requires a person that operates a call center in the State to provide the Commissioner of Labor 120 days' notice before relocating the call center or a part of the call center. If the employer fails to notify the Commissioner of Labor of the relocation of the call center at least 120 days before the relocation, a daily fine of $10,000 may be assessed.
The bill requires the Commissioner of Labor to create a list of employers who have relocated a call center, or a facility or operating unit handling at least 30% of call volume within a call center, from the State to a foreign country. An employer appearing on the list is ineligible for a state grant, loan or tax benefit for 5 years and is required to pay back the unamortized value of a state grant, loan or tax benefit previously issued to the employer. The bill requires that call center work for executive branch agencies of the State be performed in the State.