Title 20


603.5 What are the exceptions to the confidentiality requirement

§ 603.5 What are the exceptions to the confidentiality requirement?

The following are exceptions to the confidentiality requirement. Disclosure of confidential UC information is permissible under the exceptions in paragraphs (a) through (g) of this section only if authorized by State law and if such disclosure does not interfere with the efficient administration of the State UC law. Disclosure of confidential UC information is permissible under the exceptions in paragraphs (h) and (i) of this section without such restrictions.

(a) Public domain information. The confidentiality requirement of § 603.4 does not apply to public domain information, as defined at § 603.2(c).

(b) UC appeals records. Disclosure of appeals records and decisions, and precedential determinations on coverage of employers, employment, and wages, is permissible provided all social security account numbers have been removed and such disclosure is otherwise consistent with Federal and State law.

(c) Individual or employer. Disclosure for non-UC purposes, of confidential UC information about an individual to that individual, or of confidential UC information about an employer to that employer, is permissible.

(d) Informed consent. Disclosure of confidential UC information on the basis of informed consent is permissible in the following circumstances -

(1) Agent - to one who acts for or in the place of an individual or an employer by the authority of that individual or employer if -

(i) In general -

(A) The agent presents a written release (which may include an electronically submitted release that the State determines is authentic) from the individual or employer being represented;

(B) When a written release is impossible or impracticable to obtain, the agent presents such other form of consent as is permitted by the State UC agency in accordance with State law;

(ii) In the case of an elected official performing constituent services, the official presents reasonable evidence (such as a letter from the individual or employer requesting assistance or a written record of a telephone request from the individual or employer) that the individual or employer has authorized such disclosure; or

(iii) In the case of an attorney retained for purposes related to the State's UC law, the attorney asserts that he or she is representing the individual or employer.

(2) Third party (other than an agent) or disclosure made on an ongoing basis - to a third party that is not acting as an agent or that receives confidential information following an informed consent disclosure on an ongoing basis (even if such entity is an agent), but only if that entity obtains a written release from the individual or employer to whom the information pertains.

(i) The release must be signed and must include a statement -

(A) Specifically identifying the information that is to be disclosed;

(B) That State government files will be accessed to obtain that information;

(C) Of the specific purpose or purposes for which the information is sought and a statement that information obtained under the release will only be used for that purpose or purposes; and

(D) Indicating all the parties who may receive the information disclosed.

(ii) The purpose specified in the release must be limited to -

(A) Providing a service or benefit to the individual signing the release that such individual expects to receive as a result of signing the release; or

(B) Carrying out administration or evaluation of a public program to which the release pertains.

Note to paragraph (d):

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act of 2000 (E-Sign), Pub. L. 106-229, may apply where a party wishes to effectuate electronically an informed consent release (§ 603.5(d)(2)) or a disclosure agreement (§ 603.10(a)) with an entity that uses informed consent releases. E-Sign, among other things, sets forth the circumstances under which electronic signatures, contracts, and other records relating to such transactions (in lieu of paper documents) are legally binding. Thus, an electronic communication may suffice under E-Sign to establish a legally binding contract. The States will need to consider E-Sign's application to these informed consent releases and disclosure agreements. In particular, a State must, to conform and substantially comply with this regulation, assure that these informed consent releases and disclosure agreements are legally enforceable. If an informed consent release or disclosure agreement is to be effectuated electronically, the State must determine whether E-Sign applies to that transaction, and, if so, make certain that the transaction satisfies the conditions imposed by E-Sign. The State must also make certain that the electronic transaction complies with every other condition necessary to make it legally enforceable.

(e) Public official. Disclosure of confidential UC information to a public official for use in the performance of his or her official duties is permissible.

(1) “Performance of official duties” means administration or enforcement of law or the execution of the official responsibilities of a Federal, State, or local elected official. Administration of law includes research related to the law administered by the public official. Execution of official responsibilities does not include solicitation of contributions or expenditures to or on behalf of a candidate for public or political office or a political party.

(2) For purposes of § 603.2(d)(2) through (5), “performance of official duties” includes, in addition to the activities set out in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, use of the confidential UC information for the following limited purposes:

(i) State and local performance accountability under WIOA sec. 116, including eligible training provider performance accountability under WIOA secs. 116(d) and 122;

(ii) The requirements of discretionary Federal grants awarded under WIOA; or

(iii) As otherwise required for education or workforce training program performance accountability and reporting under Federal or State law.

(f) Agent or contractor of public official. Disclosure of confidential UC information to an agent or contractor of a public official to whom disclosure is permissible under paragraph (e) of this section.

(g) Bureau of Labor Statistics. The confidentiality requirement does not apply to information collected exclusively for statistical purposes under a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Further, this part does not restrict or impose any condition on the transfer of any other information to the BLS under an agreement, or the BLS's disclosure or use of such information.

(h) Court order; official with subpoena authority. Disclosure of confidential UC information in response to a court order or to an official with subpoena authority is permissible as specified in § 603.7(b).

(i) UC Program Oversight and Audits. The confidentiality requirement does not apply to any disclosure to a Federal official for purposes of UC program oversight and audits, including disclosures under 20 CFR part 601 and 29 CFR parts 96 and 97.

[71 FR 56842, Sept. 27, 2006, as amended at 81 FR 56333, Aug. 19, 2016]