About the Alabama Department of Labor

The Department

Excellence in customer service is our primary focus at the Alabama Alabama Department of Labor . As a cabinet-level department of state government, Alabama Department of Labor provides services which have considerable impact on the economic well-being of all Alabamians. It is a core partner in Alabama’s Career Center System which provides one-stop employment and training services as mandated by the Workforce Investment Act.

ADOL BuildingOur job is not just to hand out unemployment checks to those that qualify. We help people find new jobs and help employers find the workers they need. We also assist both employers and workers to resolve workers' compensation issues. These efforts save taxpayer dollars and help keep people off the welfare rolls.

There are five operational divisions in our department which work to improve the quality of life for our citizens as well as improve the business climate for Alabama employers. They are: Employment Service (ES), Unemployment Compensation (UC), Workers' Compensation (WC), Labor Market Information (LMI), and Inspections (Mining, Boilers & Elevators). Each of these divisions must meet statutory standards of quality, while maintaining a delicate balance between the interest of individuals and the interests of business.

Alabama Department of Labor is working hard to build partnerships with employers, the community, and governmental agencies to provide a better economic climate for Alabama’s workforce and employers.

The remaining sections on this page outline these services as well as the overall missions of the five divisions. If you need further information on any of our services, please contact either the central office at (334) 242-8055, or call one of the local offices in your area. The Alabama Department of Labor organizational chart can be downloaded here (*pdf).
 

Unemployment Compensation

The Unemployment Compensation (UC) division is built around one central idea: a worker who loses his job, through no fault of his own, deserves financial help.

It benefits employers because it enables them to keep their workforce together during short-term layoffs. It aids individuals by providing them with basic sustenance money until they become re-employed. Both groups also profit because unemployment insurance helps stabilize local economies during a recession. Administration of the UC program is completely funded by Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA).

Every effort is taken to make this division customer-service oriented through the use of telephone claims, streamlined operations, and expanded services. These improvements have been implemented while maintaining a low unemployment compensation tax rate for Alabama employers.

This division strives to keep the employer community up-to-date on available programs and other items of interest. This is accomplished in the following ways:

  • Press releases on any UI law changes or new programs,
  • fact sheets on UC eligibility rules,
  • posters, special information packages and several employer information handbooks,
  • videos on new programs such as Alabama New Hire, and claimant profiling,
  • a "Tax Quick List" to assist employers in finding the correct taxing agency in their area and information on locating small business development centers.

For further information on any of these services contact the UC division at (334) 242-8025. To report UC fraud call 1-800-392-8019.
 

Worker's Compensation

This division humanizes the Alabama workplace through its protective effort for employees and employers. It administers the Alabama Workers' Compensation (WC) law providing compensation for job related injuries and occupational diseases. In so doing. safety in the workplace is encouraged and expanded for all workers.

The law requires all job-related injuries to be reported to the insurance carrier which will in turn file the Employer's First Report of Injury to this division. A record must be kept on all jobrelated injuries and reported to this division until the final compensation is issued.

This division has a compliance section which promotes employer compliance with the Alabama law. There are field examiners in different areas of the state which enforce compliance with the law to provide each employee the same benefits.

There are five ways Alabama employers may purchase workers' compensation coverage:

  1. from an approved workers' compensation carrier who will write an insurance policy;
  2. from the Assigned Risk Pool when insurance carriers refuse to write an insurance policy for you;
  3. through a group self-insurance fund;
  4. through individual self-insurance: or
  5. through an approved alternative workers' compensation policy from an authorized insurance carrier.

WC rates have stabilized since the passage of the 1992 WC Reform Act and rate stabilization will continue to be a high priority in this division. Two key items in the reform have been responsible for this cost containment: a cap on the amount providers may charge; and initiation of an ombudsman mediation program to resolve disputes, resulting in reduced legal expenses.

The following additional services are provided by WC to better serve Alabama employers:

  • Speakers for various civic organizations to address WC matters and the
    ombudsman program.
  • Brochures on the benefits of the ombudsman program, and on WC insurance coverage for employers.
  • 1-800-528-5166 number available for claimants wanting ombudsman assistance.
  • Ongoing continuing education seminars available.
  • Fraud and WC posters.
  • Safety program for businesses.
  • Provider fee schedules and negotiated agreements with hospitals.

For further information on these services, contact the WC division at (334) 242-2868 or 1-800-528-5166. To report alleged WC fraud call 1-800-923-2533.

Employment Service

The basic function of the Alabama State employment Service is the matching and referral of qualified job seekers with employer's job openings. The employment service provides assistance in job referral. employability development activities, and job development as well as occupational and training information.

Employers pay for this service through federal unemployment taxes. There is never a fee for employers or applicants. The employment service has proved itself for more than 60 years to be an efficient. cost-effective system for putting people and jobs together. On any one day, the employment service has access to thousands of job seekers locally, statewide, and across the nation.

Local employment service offices are available to provide:

  • Access to the largest single source of applicants which ensures the widest exposure for employer job openings.
  • Access to America's Job Bank (AJB), the nation's largest and most frequently visited electronic job bank in the country. At this site, thousands of job seekers each day view hundreds of thousands of job vacancies. The web site address is: www.ajb.org. America's Talent Bank, which can be accessed at the AJB web site, allows employers to search a nationwide database of electronic resumes to Find suitable candidates for their job openings.
  • The matching of people with jobs accomplished by a high-tech, full-text retrieval system.
  • Available space in local offices for employers to conduct interviews with job seekers.
  • Automated typing and word processing tests.
  • Information on alien labor certification, Work Opportunity and Welfare-to-Work tax credits, and comprehensive labor market information.
  • An opportunity to network with other employers through the Alabama Employer Services Committee, and to make recommendations on how the Alabama State employment Service can better serve Alabama citizens.

Please contact your nearest local office for more information.
 

Labor Market Information

The Labor Market Information (LMI) Division collects and analyzes labor market data for dissemination to employers, economic developers, those researching job markets, and other interested individuals. The division is the primary source responsible for providing information about Alabama’s population, employment, unemployment, and wages. Labor Market Information uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics programs, including Current Employment and Wages, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, and Occupational Employment Statistics.

On August 7, 1998, President Bill Clinton signed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) integrating the Wagner-Peyser plan into the State Workforce Development plan and requiring public labor exchange activities to be a part of the one-stop system. Subsequently, Governor Siegelman designated the LMI Division as the single state agency responsible for the management of Alabama’s statewide employment statistics system in accordance with Section 15 of WIA.

The Labor Market Information Division provides services through various means in order to reach a broad audience. Labor market data is available by individual phone request, presentations, publications, and the Internet as well. Publications available by request include: Annual Average Labor Force Estimates, LMI Bulletin, Alabama Labor Market News, 2001 Edition Alabama Wage Survey, Occupational Trends 1998-2008, 2000 Career Exploration Guide, and the Occupational Employment Statistics Survey. Affirmative action data and the Consumer Price Index are also available by request.

The Internet site (labor.alabama.gov/lmi) contains information such as wage data, current unemployment rates, initial claims information, non-agricultural wage and salary data, and a division directory. The site also provides an on-line order form for the division’s publications.

Other services of the LMI Division include:

  • Alabama’s Comprehensive Labor Market Information System (ACLMIS). ACLMIS is a user-friendly software system that provides customers with easy access to demographic, economic, and labor market information. It graphically analyzes and displays a wide variety LMI stored in the nationally standardized America’s Labor Market Information System. The system is accessible through the Internet, One-Stop Career Centers, and CD-ROM.
  • The Geographic Information System is a mapping system that layers information such as population data, industry concentration, median earnings, and other information over a map of the State of Alabama to give a geographic perspective for developers, employers, planners, and other interested individuals.

 

Inspections (Mining, Boilers & Elevators)

Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation
The mission of this program is to restore land and water resources which have been adversely affected by past coal mining. Reclamation is conducted on abandoned surface mines, coal processing areas, and underground mine entries. The program is making an aggressive effort to reduce the backlog of public safety hazards and environmental problems from past mine activities. To assist Alabama property owners, this section has assumed responsibility from the federal government for the emergency reclamation of abandoned mine lands. When unforeseen problems occur with abandoned mine lands - such as underground mine subsidence or landslides on former mining areas - this section can respond with help in 24 - 48 hours.

In addition to the obvious benefits to Alabama in the elimination of mine-related safety hazards and improvements to the environment, the program has impacted positively on many local economies as dollars are spent on the reclamation process.

Mine Safety and Inspection
The primary responsibility of this section is to inspect all working places in mines to ensure compliance with state laws which protect the safety of persons working in the mining industry. This section also coordinates rescue efforts in the event of a mine disaster and investigates fatal mine accidents. Training programs are provided to miners in mine safety, rescue and first aid. Mine foreman and fireboss examinations are conducted, and production records are kept for coal and other minerals mined in Alabama.

This section maintains a large collection of underground mine maps dating back to the late 1800's. Since the presence of abandoned mines can be a critical factor in the structural stability of potential building sites, developers have found Alabama Department of Labor's maps to be invaluable in siting new structures and avoiding subsidence-prone areas.

Employers of all types who exemplify a high level of safety consciousness in their everyday operations, as evidenced by no lost time injuries over periods of 6, 12, or 24 months, are recognized through the Alabama Workplace Safety Award Program.

Surface Mining of Non-fuel Minerals
This program ensures that lands mined for non-fuel minerals are reclaimed in accordance with state law. Examples of non-fuel minerals that are currently mined in Alabama include sand, gravel, clay, and bauxite. This section issues mining permits, ensures that mine sites are properly bonded for reclamation purposes, and makes periodic inspections.