U Memo 11-1

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

UIPA Memo 11-1
August 5, 2010
Unemployment Insurance Benefits Records

Requester asked whether the Employment Security Appeals Referees’ Office, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR), properly denied his request under part III of the UIPA for copies of documents submitted by his employer (Employer’s Records) in its request to reopen the appeals officer’s decision on Requester’s claim for unemployment insurance benefits.

OIP found that DLIR may properly withhold the Employer’s Records from Requester under HRS § 383-95(a) and HRS § 92F-22(5).

Disclosure of information obtained from an employer or employee pursuant to administration of HRS chapter 383, Hawaii Employment Security Law, is governed by HRS § 383-95(a).

DLIR must hold information obtained from an employer pursuant to chapter 383 confidential, except that such information must be supplied to the claimant “to the extent necessary for the proper presentation of the claimant’s claim in any proceeding” under that chapter. HRS § 383-95(a).

Thus, absent any proceeding on a claimant’s claim, DLIR may withhold from the claimant information received from an employer based upon the UIPA’s exemption to disclosure for records “required to be withheld from the individual to whom it pertains by statute.” HRS § 92F-22(5).

DLIR’s July 1 letter to Requester stated that access was being denied because “the employer’s request to reopen was denied, by decision dated June 21, 2010, and there is no evidence the employer further appealed the decision in Circuit Court[.]”

Absent any facts asserted by Requester that presented a basis for disclosure under HRS § 383-95(a), OIP concluded that DLIR’s response was proper under the UIPA.