Department of Labor

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Thousands of Vermonters at risk after massive data breach

massive security breach at the Vermont Department of Labor may have compromised the Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of Vermonters, and Gov. Phil Scott says the state is contemplating legal action against the private vendor responsible for the breach. The breach affects a database maintained for the state of Vermont by a third-party vendor, called America’s Job Link Alliance. Scott says the state learned Wednesday that “the vendor now believes more than 180,000 accounts on Joblink were compromised.”

The breach could affect anyone who’s applied for unemployment since 2003, and has entered information into an online jobs database that people are required to use to demonstrate they’re seeking new employment. When people file for unemployment, they’re in most cases required by state and federal law to look for work. “And as part of their regular job search, they have to put their information into the database and they then can use that database to help them find jobs,” says Commissioner of Labor Lindsay Kurrle. Continue Reading →

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Scott proposes changes to the executive branch

MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott Scott is looking to consolidate some areas of state government in a bid to create operational efficiencies and some potential cost savings, but critics say it could weaken enforcement in a key area of government. Scott, who took office earlier this month, signed three executive orders Sunday and briefed reporters at the State House Tuesday on how they will reorganize the executive branch. One will combine the Department of Liquor and the Lottery Commission into the Department of Liquor and Lottery. Another will reconfigure the state’s Department of Information and Innovation into a new Agency of Digital Services. The third order combines the Department of Labor and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development into a single Agency of Economic Opportunity. Continue Reading →

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Grant will help study paid family leave

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Commission on Women has received a $174,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to study the implementation of paid family and medical leave in Vermont. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau announced a total of $1.55 million in grants to research and analyze how paid leave programs can be developed and implemented across the country. The Vermont Commission on Women, an independent non-partisan state commission dedicated to advancing rights and opportunities for women in Vermont, will utilize the grant to explore how paid family and medical leave can work in Vermont, according to Executive Director Cary Brown. “It’s really a collection of smaller projects that are part of an overall feasibility study,” she said. “We will be issuing a number of contracts with various individuals and organizations in order to conduct different parts of this.”

Brown said the commission is looking to explore potential administrative structures for providing paid leave in Vermont, as well both public and private funding options. Continue Reading →

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