23:1131      Release of earnings records and information; policy

A. It is the policy for the efficient administration of the workers' compensation system that there be reasonable access to earnings information of employees.

B. (1) The employer or the employer's workers' compensation insurer, against whom a claim for benefits under this Chapter has been made, or representatives of either may request from the Department of Labor records of wages of the employee reported to the department by any employer for the quarter which includes the date of the accident which is the subject of such claim and for subsequent quarters.

(2) The employer or insurer shall make the request on a form prescribed for such purpose by the secretary of the Department of Labor to the address and in the manner specified by the secretary, and shall attach to the form a copy of the consent obtained from the employee pursuant to R.S. 23:1208(G). Such form shall contain a certification by the requesting party that it is a party entitled to the information requested as authorized by this Section. Such form shall also contain the agreement of the requesting party that it will maintain the confidentiality of the records requested and use such records only in connection with the claim for workers' compensation in the manner allowed pursuant to Subsection D of this Section, and further that the requesting party pay all costs associated with the disclosure of such information.

(3) The Department of Labor shall provide the most current information readily available within fifteen days of receiving the request.

C. Any such records or information obtained pursuant to this Section shall be held confidential by the party who obtained it, except as provided for in Subsection D. Any person who breaches this confidentiality or who falsely certifies that such person is entitled to obtain the information authorized by this Section shall be liable to the employee for any actual damages sustained by him up to a maximum of one thousand dollars, plus all reasonable attorney fees necessary to recover such damages.

D. Exceptions to this breach of confidentiality shall be for:

(1) Any introduction or use of such information in a court of law, or before the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration or the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Second Injury Board.

(2) Providing such information to any person who would be legally obligated for payment of workers' compensation benefits to the employee or vocational rehabilitation consultants selected by, or counsel or experts retained by any such person in connection with any claim for benefits under this Chapter made by the employee or any proceedings in a court of law or before the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration.

(3) Furnishing the information as authorized by this Section and the release and use of such information as allowed by this Section shall not be a violation of R.S. 23:1660.

E. The employer who makes the request shall provide notice of the request to the employee when the request is made and the department shall provide the employee with a copy of the information provided in response to the request.

Added by Acts 2001, No. 1120, s 1. Amended by Acts 2003, No. 702, s 1.