2013 New York Consolidated Laws
WKC - Workers' Compensation
Article 7 - (110 - 137) Miscellaneous Provisions.
110-A - Confidentiality of workers' compensation records.


NY Work Comp L § 110-A (2012) What's This?
 
    §   110-a.   Confidentiality  of  workers'  compensation  records.  1.
  Restrictions on disclosure. (a) Except upon the order or subpoena  of  a
  court  of  competent  jurisdiction,  or  subpoena  of  a law enforcement
  agency,  or  subpoena  properly  issued  under  the  authority   of   an
  administrative agency, or in accordance with subdivision two or three of
  this  section,  no  workers'  compensation  record  shall  be disclosed,
  redisclosed,  released,  disseminated  or  otherwise  published  by   an
  officer, member, employee or agent of the board to any other person.
    (b)  For  purposes of this section, (i) "record" means a claim file, a
  file regarding an injury or complaint for which no claim has been  made,
  and/or  any  records  maintained by the board in electronic databases in
  which individual claimants or workers are  identifiable,  or  any  other
  information  relating  to  any  person  who  has heretofore or hereafter
  reported an injury or filed a claim for workers' compensation  benefits,
  including  a copy or oral description of a record which is or was in the
  possession or custody of the board, its officers, members, employees  or
  agents.
    (ii)  "person"  means  any  natural  person, corporation, association,
  partnership, or other public or private entity.
    (iii)  "individually  identifiable   information"   means   any   data
  concerning  any  injury,  claim, or potential claim that is linked to an
  identifiable employee or other natural person.
    2. Authorized disclosure. Workers' compensation records which  contain
  individually  identifiable  information may, unless otherwise prohibited
  by law, be disclosed to:
    (a) those officers,  members  and  employees  of,  and  to  those  who
  contract  with,  the  board  if  such  disclosure  is  necessary  to the
  performance of their official duties pursuant to a purpose of the  board
  required  to  be accomplished by statute or executive order or otherwise
  necessary to perform their lawful duties;
    (b) officers or employees of  another  governmental  unit,  or  agents
  and/or  contractors  of  the  governmental  unit  at  the request and/or
  direction of the governmental unit, if  the  information  sought  to  be
  disclosed  is necessary for the receiving governmental unit to operate a
  program or carry out  a  purpose  specifically  authorized  by  statute,
  including the investigation of a fraud, criminal offense or licensing or
  regulatory  violation,  or  to  act  upon  an  application  for benefits
  submitted by the person who is the subject of the record;
    (c) a person who is the subject of the  particular  record  for  which
  disclosure  is  sought; or an attorney or licensed representative who is
  retained by the person who is the subject of the particular  record  for
  which disclosure is sought;
    (d)  a  workers' compensation insurance carrier, employer or the state
  insurance fund, including officers,  employees,  legal  representatives,
  agents,  reinsurers  and contractors thereof, where such individuals are
  acting within the scope of their duties  in  evaluating,  processing  or
  settling  a  claim  involving  the  subject of the particular record for
  which disclosure is sought, and where such carrier, employer or fund  is
  a party to such claim;
    (e)  a  judicial  or  administrative officer or employee in connection
  with an administrative or judicial proceeding; and
    (f) a person engaged in bona fide statistical research, including  but
  not  limited  to actuarial studies and health and safety investigations,
  which are authorized by statute or regulation  of  the  board  or  other
  governmental  agency. Individually identifiable information shall not be
  disclosed unless the  researcher  has  entered  into  a  confidentiality
  agreement  with the board and has agreed that any research findings will
  not disclose individually identifiable information; and

    (g) an insurer or health benefit plan including  officers,  employees,
  legal  representatives,  agents,  and  contractors  thereof,  where such
  individuals are acting within the scope of their  duties  in  evaluating
  compensation  records  for  the  purpose  of  determining entitlement to
  reimbursement  for  payments  made  for medical and/or hospital services
  pursuant to subdivisions  (d)  and  (h)  of  section  thirteen  of  this
  chapter.
    (h)  a  treating  physician  or  other  health  care  provider who has
  rendered treatment to  a  claimant,  or  is  seeking  authorization  for
  treatment  or  special  services, (i) where the information sought to be
  disclosed relates to (a) compensability  of  a  claim  related  to  such
  treatment,  (b)  reimbursement  for such treatment, or (c) authorization
  for special services; or (ii) where the information to be  disclosed  is
  limited  to  notice  to  the  treating  physician  or  other health care
  provider that a waiver agreement has been initiated pursuant to  section
  thirty-two of this chapter.
    3.  Individual  authorization.  Notwithstanding  the  restrictions  on
  disclosure set forth under subdivision one of this section, a person who
  is the subject of a  workers'  compensation  record  may  authorize  the
  release,  re-release  or  publication of his or her record to a specific
  person not otherwise authorized to receive such  record,  by  submitting
  written authorization for such release to the board on a form prescribed
  by  the  chair  or  by  a  notarized original authorization specifically
  directing the board to release workers'  compensation  records  to  such
  person.  However,  in accordance with section one hundred twenty-five of
  this article, no such authorization directing disclosure of records to a
  prospective  employer  shall  be  valid;  nor  shall  an   authorization
  permitting disclosure of records in connection with assessing fitness or
  capability  for  employment be valid, and no disclosure of records shall
  be made pursuant thereto.  It  shall  be  unlawful  for  any  person  to
  consider  for  the purpose of assessing eligibility for a benefit, or as
  the basis for an employment-related action, an individual's  failure  to
  provide authorization under this subdivision.
    4.  It  shall  be  unlawful  for any person who has obtained copies of
  board  records  or  individually  identifiable  information  from  board
  records  to disclose such information to any person who is not otherwise
  lawfully entitled to obtain these records.
    5.  Any  person  who  knowingly   and   willfully   obtains   workers'
  compensation records which contain individually identifiable information
  under false pretenses or otherwise violates this section shall be guilty
  of a class A misdemeanor and shall be subject upon conviction, to a fine
  of not more than one thousand dollars.
    6.  In  addition  to  or  in lieu of any criminal proceeding available
  under this section, whenever there shall be a violation of this section,
  application may be made by the attorney  general  in  the  name  of  the
  people  of  the  state  of  New  York  to  a  court  or  justice  having
  jurisdiction by a special proceeding to issue an  injunction,  and  upon
  notice  to  the  defendant  of  not  less  than five days, to enjoin and
  restrain the continuance of such violations; and if it shall  appear  to
  the  satisfaction  of  the  court  or justice that the defendant has, in
  fact, violated this section, an injunction may be issued by  such  court
  or  justice,  enjoining  and  restraining any further violation, without
  requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been  injured  or  damaged
  thereby.  In  any  such proceeding, the court may make allowances to the
  attorney general as provided in paragraph  six  of  subdivision  (a)  of
  section  eighty-three hundred three of the civil practice law and rules,
  and direct restitution.  Whenever  the  court  shall  determine  that  a
  violation  of  this  section  has occurred, the court may impose a civil

  penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for the  first  violation,
  and  not  more  than  one  thousand dollars for the second or subsequent
  violation within a three  year  period.  In  connection  with  any  such
  proposed  application,  the attorney general is authorized to take proof
  and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in
  accordance with the civil practice law and rules.

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