A new rule governing the confidentiality of Utah Department of Employment Security records has been adopted by the State Industrial Commission.
The preamble of the rule, presented by K. Allan Zabel, an attorney for the department, says employers and individuals have a legitimate expectation of privacy in the information they provide to the department.Therefore, consistent with federal and state requirements of confidentiality, it is the intent of the rule to limit access to department records for use in:
- Administration of department programs and other divisions of the commission.
- The detection and avoidance of duplicate or fraudulent claims against public assistance funds or to avoid significant risk to public safety.
- Complying with federal or state law.
The rule said department records shall not be published or open to public inspection in any manner revealing the employer's or the individual's identity except upon written request that outlines the reason for disclosure.
One reason for disclosure, Zabel said, is that records the department uses to make a decision may be provided to all interested parties before the decision is made.
"Any information requested by employers concerning claims for benefits with respect to former or current employees may be provided where the employer's reason for seeking the information is directly related to the unemployment insurance program," the rule said.
Information in the records may be made available to the party who submitted the information to the department. An individual's wage data submitted by an employer may be made available to that individual, the rule says.
Zabel said information in the record may be made available to the public for any purpose following a written waiver by all parties of their rights to non-disclosure.
The rule provides that employment and claim information may be disclosed by the department to any other public employees in the performance of their public duties only upon a determination by the department that such disclosure will not discourage the willingness of employers to report wage and employment information or discourage individuals from filing claims for unemployment benefits.