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Title XVIII LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

Chapter 288

Effective - 01 Jan 2005, see footnote bottom

  288.398.  Contracts with consumer reporting agencies authorized — information limited — privacy rules apply — written consent, contents — use of information limited, verified by consumer reporting agency — confidentiality safeguards required — noncompliance, liability — information obtained under false pretenses, penalty — disputes. — 1.  The division of employment security may contract with one or more consumer reporting agencies, with preference given to those which maintain offices within the state of Missouri, to provide secure electronic access to information provided in the quarterly wage report to the division of employment security by employing units.  The consumer reporting agency shall be limited to use of such information to those permitted under Section 604 of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681b).

  2.  The information provided to a consumer reporting agency shall be limited to the amount of wages reported by each employing unit, with the employing unit's name and address, for each of or up to the last eight quarters.  For the purposes of this section, "consumer reporting agency" has the meaning assigned by Section 603(f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681f).

  3.  The information is subject to the privacy rules of this state and the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act in addition to this section.  The consumer reporting agency shall require that any user of the information shall, prior to obtaining the wage report information, obtain a written consent from the individual to whom that wage report information pertains.

  4.  The written consent shall prominently contain language specifying the following:

  (1)  The consent to disclose is voluntary and refusal to consent to disclosure of state wage information shall not be the basis for the denial of credit;

  (2)  If consent is granted, the information shall be released to specified parties;

  (3)  Authorization by the individual is necessary for the release of wage and employment history information;

  (4)  The specific application or transaction for the sole purpose of which release is made;

  (5)  Division of employment security files containing wage and employment history information submitted by employers may be accessed; and

  (6)  The identity and address of parties authorized to receive the released information.

  5.  The consumer reporting agency shall require that the information released shall be used only to verify the accuracy of the wage or employment information previously provided by an individual in connection with a specific transaction to satisfy its user's standard underwriting requirements or those imposed upon the user, and to satisfy user's obligations, under applicable state or federal fair credit reporting laws.

  6.  The division of employment security shall establish minimum audit, security, net worth, and liability insurance standards, technological requirements, any other terms and conditions deemed necessary in the discretion of the division to safeguard the confidentiality of the information and to otherwise serve the public interest.  The division shall not pay any costs associated with the establishment or maintenance of the access provided for by this subsection, including but not limited to the costs of any audits of the consumer reporting agency or users by the division.  The division may void any contract authorized by this section if the contractor is not complying with this section.  Except in cases of willful and wanton misconduct, the state and division are* immune from any liability in connection with information provided under this section, including but not limited to liability with regard to the accuracy or use of the information.  Any fees received by the division of employment security from a consumer reporting agency pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Missouri unemployment insurance trust fund and dedicated solely for benefit payments.

  7.  Any person or entity who willfully fails to comply with any requirement imposed under this subsection with respect to any consumer is liable in Missouri state courts to that consumer to the same extent as provided for in Section 616 of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681n).

  8.  A consumer may bring an action in a circuit court to enjoin a violation of this act**.

  9.  Any person who knowingly and willfully obtains information pursuant to this subsection from a consumer reporting agency under false pretenses shall be punished to the same extent as provided under Section 619 of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681q).

  10.  If the completeness or accuracy of any item of information in a consumer's file at a consumer reporting agency obtained under this subsection is disputed, the dispute resolution shall be handled according to Section 611 of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681l).

­­--------

(L. 2004 H.B. 1268 § 1211)

Effective 1-01-05

*Word "is" appears in original rolls.

**"This act" (H.B. 1268 & 1211, 2004) contains numerous sections. Consult Disposition of Sections table for a definitive listing.


---- end of effective   01 Jan 2005 ----

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