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2011 Florida Statutes

SECTION 1715
Disclosure of information; confidentiality.
F.S. 443.1715
443.1715 Disclosure of information; confidentiality.
(1) RECORDS AND REPORTS.Information revealing an employing unit’s or individual’s identity obtained from the employing unit or any individual under the administration of this chapter, and any determination revealing that information, except to the extent necessary for the proper presentation of a claim or upon written authorization of the claimant who has a workers’ compensation claim pending or is receiving compensation benefits, is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This confidential information may be released only to public employees in the performance of their public duties. Except as otherwise provided by law, public employees receiving this confidential information must maintain the confidentiality of the information. Any claimant, or the claimant’s legal representative, at a hearing before an appeals referee or the commission is entitled to information from these records to the extent necessary for the proper presentation of her or his claim. A person receiving confidential information who violates this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. The Department of Economic Opportunity or its tax collection service provider may, however, furnish to any employer copies of any report submitted by that employer upon the request of the employer and may furnish to any claimant copies of any report submitted by that claimant upon the request of the claimant. The department or its tax collection service provider may charge a reasonable fee for copies of these reports as prescribed by rule, which may not exceed the actual reasonable cost of the preparation of the copies. Fees received for copies under this subsection must be deposited in the Employment Security Administration Trust Fund.
(2) DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION.
(a) Subject to restrictions the Department of Economic Opportunity or the state agency providing unemployment tax collection services adopts by rule, information declared confidential under this section is available to any agency of this or any other state, or any federal agency, charged with the administration of any unemployment compensation law or the maintenance of the one-stop delivery system, or the Bureau of Internal Revenue of the United States Department of the Treasury, or the Florida Department of Revenue. Information obtained in connection with the administration of the one-stop delivery system may be made available to persons or agencies for purposes appropriate to the operation of a public employment service or a job-preparatory or career education or training program. The department shall, on a quarterly basis, furnish the National Directory of New Hires with information concerning the wages and unemployment benefits paid to individuals, by the dates, in the format, and containing the information specified in the regulations of the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. Upon request, the department shall furnish any agency of the United States charged with the administration of public works or assistance through public employment, and may furnish to any state agency similarly charged, the name, address, ordinary occupation, and employment status of each recipient of benefits and the recipient’s rights to further benefits under this chapter. Except as otherwise provided by law, the receiving agency must retain the confidentiality of this information as provided in this section. The tax collection service provider may request the Comptroller of the Currency of the United States to examine the correctness of any return or report of any national banking association rendered under this chapter and may in connection with that request transmit any report or return for examination to the Comptroller of the Currency of the United States as provided in s. 3305(c) of the federal Internal Revenue Code.
(b) The employer or the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier against whom a claim for benefits under chapter 440 has been made, or a representative of either, may request from the department records of wages of the employee reported to the department by any employer for the quarter that includes the date of the accident that is the subject of such claim and for subsequent quarters.
1. The request must be made with the authorization or consent of the employee or any employer who paid wages to the employee after the date of the accident.
2. The employer or carrier shall make the request on a form prescribed by rule for such purpose by the 1agency. Such form shall contain a certification by the requesting party that it is a party entitled to the information requested.
3. The department shall provide the most current information readily available within 15 days after receiving the request.
(3) DISCLOSURE OF DRUG TEST INFORMATION.Notwithstanding s. 440.102(8), all information, interviews, reports, and drug test results, written or otherwise, received by an employer through a drug-testing program may be used or received in evidence, obtained in discovery, or disclosed in public or private proceedings conducted for the purpose of determining compensability under this chapter, including any administrative or judicial appeal. The employer, agent of the employer, or laboratory conducting a drug test may also obtain access to employee drug test information when consulting with legal counsel in connection with actions brought under or related to this chapter or when the information is relevant to its defense in a civil or administrative matter. This information may also be released to a professional or occupational licensing board in a related disciplinary proceeding. However, unless otherwise provided by law, this information is confidential for all other purposes.
(a) This information may not be disclosed or released and may not be used in any criminal proceeding against the person tested. Information released contrary to paragraph (c) is inadmissible as evidence in the criminal proceeding.
(b) Unless otherwise provided by law, any information described in this subsection and received by a public employer through a drug-testing program, or obtained by a public employee under this chapter, is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, until introduced into the public record under a hearing conducted under s. 443.151(4).
(c) Confidentiality may be waived only by express and informed written consent executed by the person tested. The consent form must contain, at a minimum:
1. The name of the person who is authorized to obtain the information;
2. The purpose of the disclosure;
3. The precise information to be disclosed;
4. The duration of the consent; and
5. The signature of the person authorizing release of the information.
History.s. 2, ch. 94-118; s. 295, ch. 96-406; s. 1067, ch. 97-103; s. 62, ch. 97-170; s. 36, ch. 98-397; s. 68, ch. 2001-62; s. 3, ch. 2002-68; s. 42, ch. 2003-36; s. 42, ch. 2003-412; s. 27, ch. 2009-51; s. 14, ch. 2010-90; s. 375, ch. 2011-142.
1Note.Section 479, ch. 2011-142, repealed s. 20.50, which created the Agency for Workforce Innovation. The duties of the Agency for Workforce Innovation relating to unemployment compensation were transferred to the Department of Economic Opportunity by s. 1, ch. 2011-142.