Florida Senate - 2017 CS for CS for SB 1008 By the Committees on Rules; and Banking and Insurance; and Senators Perry and Bradley 595-04443-17 20171008c2 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records; creating s. 3 440.1851, F.S.; providing an exemption from public 4 records requirements for the personal identifying 5 information of an injured or deceased employee which 6 is contained in reports, notices, records, or 7 supporting documentation held by the Department of 8 Financial Services pursuant to the Workers’ 9 Compensation Law; defining the term “personal 10 identifying information”; specifying circumstances 11 under which the department may disclose such 12 information; requiring certain entities receiving such 13 information to maintain the confidential and exempt 14 status of such information; providing retroactive 15 applicability; providing a criminal penalty for 16 willful and knowing disclosure of such information to 17 an unauthorized person or entity; providing for future 18 review and repeal of the exemption; providing a 19 statement of public necessity; providing an effective 20 date. 21 22 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 23 24 Section 1. Section 440.1851, Florida Statutes, is created 25 to read: 26 440.1851 Personal identifying information of an injured or 27 deceased employee; public records exemption.— 28 (1) The personal identifying information of an injured or 29 deceased employee which is contained in reports, notices, 30 records, or supporting documentation held by the department 31 pursuant to this chapter is confidential and exempt from s. 32 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. 33 (a) As used in this section, the term “personal identifying 34 information” means the injured or deceased employee’s name, date 35 of birth, home address or mailing address, e-mail address, or 36 telephone number. 37 (b) The department may disclose information made 38 confidential and exempt under this section only: 39 1. To the injured employee, to the spouse or a dependent of 40 the deceased employee, to the spouse or a dependent of the 41 injured employee if authorized by the injured employee, or to 42 the legal representative of the deceased employee’s estate; 43 2. To a party litigant, or his or her authorized 44 representative, in matters pending before the Office of the 45 Judges of Compensation Claims; 46 3. To a carrier or an employer for the purpose of 47 investigating the compensability of a claim or for the purpose 48 of administering its anti-fraud investigative unit established 49 pursuant to s. 626.9891; 50 4. In an aggregate reporting format that does not reveal 51 the personal identifying information of any employee; 52 5. Pursuant to a court order or subpoena; 53 6. To an agency for administering its anti-fraud 54 investigative function or in the furtherance of the agency’s 55 official duties and responsibilities; or 56 7. To a federal governmental entity in the furtherance of 57 the entity’s official duties and responsibilities. 58 59 A carrier, employer, agency, or governmental entity receiving 60 personal identifying information from the department shall 61 maintain the confidential and exempt status of the information. 62 (c) This public records exemption applies to personal 63 identifying information held by the department before, on, or 64 after the effective date of this exemption. 65 (2) A person who willfully and knowingly discloses personal 66 identifying information made confidential and exempt under this 67 section to an unauthorized person or entity commits a 68 misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 69 775.082 or s. 775.083. 70 (3) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset 71 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed 72 on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and saved from repeal 73 through reenactment by the Legislature. 74 Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public 75 necessity to make confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), 76 Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of the State 77 Constitution the personal identifying information of an injured 78 or deceased employee which is contained in reports, notices, 79 records, or supporting documentation held by the Department of 80 Financial Services pursuant to chapter 440, Florida Statutes. 81 Such information is of a sensitive, personal nature, and 82 disclosure of such information about an injured or deceased 83 employee is an invasion of that employee’s privacy or the 84 privacy of his or her family. Because of Florida’s workers’ 85 compensation system, an employee’s personal identifying 86 information becomes public record once the Department of 87 Financial Services is notified that the employee has been 88 injured or has died in a work-related incident. Public records 89 requests for this information have resulted in unwanted 90 solicitation of injured workers and their families. Further, the 91 release of such information could lead to discrimination against 92 the employee by coworkers, potential employers, and others 93 because of perceived social stigma related to injuries or 94 disabilities. The harm caused to such an employee or his or her 95 family by the release of this information outweighs any public 96 benefit derived from its release. 97 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.