TITLE 28
Labor and Labor Relations

CHAPTER 28-42
Employment Security – General Provisions

SECTION 28-42-38


§ 28-42-38 Records and reports – Confidentiality of information.

(a) Every employer and every employing unit employing any person in employment in this state shall keep true and accurate employment records of all persons employed by him or her, and of the weekly hours worked for him or her by each, and of the weekly wages paid by him or her to each person; and every employer and employing unit shall keep records containing any other information that the director may prescribe. Those records shall at all times be available within this state and shall be open to inspection by the director, or his or her authorized representatives, at any reasonable time and as often as the director shall deem necessary.

(b) The director may require from any employer, or employing unit, employing any person in this state, any reports covering persons employed by him or her, on employment, wages, hours, unemployment, and related matters which the director deems necessary to the effective administration of chapters 42 – 44 of this title.

(c)(1) Information obtained, or information contained in other records of the department obtained from any individual pursuant to the administration of those chapters, shall be held confidential by the director and shall not be published or be open to public inspection in any manner revealing the individual's or employing unit's identity, but any claimant at a hearing provided for in those chapters shall be supplied with information from those records of the extent necessary for the proper presentation of his or her claim. Any department employee guilty of violating this provision shall be subject to the penalties provided in chapters 42 – 44 of this title; provided, that nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to prevent:

(i) The director, or any qualified attorney whom the director has designated to represent him or her in any court of this state, or the attorney general from making any record, report, or other information referred to in this section, available in any proceeding before any court of this state in any action to which the director is a party;

(ii) The director from making any record, report, or other information referred to in this section, available to any agency of this state or any agency of a political subdivision of this state charged with the administration of public assistance within this state, or any of its political subdivisions;

(iii) The director from making any record, report, or other information referred to in this section, available to the railroad retirement board or to employees of the Internal Revenue Service in the performance of their public duties, and the director shall furnish, at the expense of the railroad retirement board or the Internal Revenue Service, copies of those records, reports, or other information referred to in this section;

(iv) The director from making available, upon request and on a reimbursable basis, any record, report, or other information referred to in this section to the federal Department of Health and Human Services in accordance with the provisions of United States P.L. 100-485, Family Support Act of 1988, or to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and to authorized representatives of public housing agencies in accordance with the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 11301 et seq.;

(v) The director from making available to the division of taxation, upon request of the tax administrator, any record, report, or other information referred to in Title 28, Chapter 42 for the purposes of compiling the annual unified economic development budget report and performing the requirements under subsection 42-142-3(e); enforcing the provisions of Title 28, Chapter 42; and/or performing any of its obligations under Title 44. The information received by the division of taxation from the department of labor and training pursuant hereto pertaining to an individual employer shall be held confidential and shall not be open to public inspection. Nothing herein shall prohibit the disclosure of statistics and/or statistical data that do not disclose the identity of individual employers and/or the contents of specific returns;

(vi) The director from making, and the director shall make, reports in the form and containing any information that the federal Social Security Administration may, from time to time, require, and complying with any provisions that the federal Social Security Administration may, from time to time, find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of those reports. The director shall make available, upon request, to any agency of the United States charged with the administration of public works or assistance through public employment, the name, address, ordinary occupation, and employment status of each recipient of unemployment compensation and a statement of that recipient's rights to further compensation under that law;

(vii) The director from conducting any investigations he or she deems relevant in connection with these provisions;

(viii) The director from conducting any investigations he or she deems relevant in connection with the performance of his or her duties pursuant to the administration of the chapters 29, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37 and 41 of this title, or from making any record, report, or other information referred to in this section available to the workers' compensation fraud prevention unit for use in the performance of its duties under § 42-16.1-12;

(ix) The director from forwarding, and the director shall forward, to the jury commissioner, the names and addresses of all individuals who are receiving unemployment compensation on a yearly basis in accordance with § 9-9-1(e);

(x) The director from providing data on unemployment insurance recipients or any other data contained in departmental records that is obtained from an individual, pursuant to the administration of chapters 42 – 44 of this title, to the department's designated research partners for the purpose of its workforce data quality and workforce innovation fund initiatives. The provision of these records will be done in accordance with an approved data-sharing agreement between the department and its designated research partners that protects the security and confidentiality of these records and, through procedures, established by protocols, rules, and/or regulations as determined necessary by the director and appropriately established or promulgated; or

(xi) The director from making available upon request and on a reimbursable basis to the department of corrections, and solely for the purpose of case management and post-release supervision, any record, report, or other information referred to in chapter 42 of title 28 relating to wages, earnings, professional licenses, work or vocational skills or training, and work history of offenders under the department of corrections' supervision for the purpose of case management and post-release supervision. The information received by the department of corrections from the department of labor and training pursuant to this subsection shall be held confidential and shall not be open to public inspection. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the disclosure of statistics and/or statistical data that does not disclose the identity of individuals, nor shall it prevent information referred to in this subsection from being available in any proceeding before any court of this state in an action in which an offender's conditions of probation or obligation to pay restitution and/or costs and fines are the subject of the court proceedings.

(2) The director may publish in statistical form the results of any investigations without disclosing the identity of the individuals involved.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1936, ch. 2333, § 11; P.L. 1937, ch. 2556, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 284, § 11; P.L. 1939, ch. 670, § 8; P.L. 1949, ch. 2175, § 1; impl. am. P.L. 1953, ch. 3206, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 28-42-38; P.L. 1986, ch. 233, § 2; P.L. 1990, ch. 93, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 379, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 476, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 216, § 9; P.L. 1999, ch. 384, § 9; P.L. 2003, ch. 430, § 2; P.L. 2009, ch. 68, art. 16, § 5; P.L. 2013, ch. 125, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 133, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 99, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 110, § 1.)