August 12, 2020
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The Florida Statutes

The 2003 Florida Statutes

Title XXXI
LABOR
Chapter 443
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION
View Entire Chapter
Section 443.171, Florida Statutes 2003

443.171  Agency for Workforce Innovation and commission; powers and duties; records and reports; proceedings; state-federal cooperation.--

(1)  POWERS AND DUTIES.--The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall administer this chapter. The agency may employ those persons, make expenditures, require reports, conduct investigations, and take other action necessary or suitable to administer this chapter. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall annually submit information to Workforce Florida, Inc., covering the administration and operation of this chapter during the preceding calendar year for inclusion in the strategic plan under s. 445.006 and may make recommendations for amendment to this chapter.

(2)  PUBLICATION OF ACTS AND RULES.--The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall cause to be printed and distributed to the public, or otherwise distributed to the public through the Internet or similar electronic means, the text of this chapter and of the rules for administering this chapter adopted by the agency or the state agency providing unemployment tax collection services and any other matter relevant and suitable. The Agency for Workforce Innovation shall furnish this information to any person upon request. However, any pamphlet, rules, circulars, or reports required by this chapter may not contain any matter except the actual data necessary to complete them or the actual language of the rule, together with the proper notices.

(3)  PERSONNEL.--Subject to chapter 110 and the other provisions of this chapter, the Agency for Workforce Innovation may appoint, set the compensation of, and prescribe the duties and powers of employees, accountants, attorneys, experts, and other persons as necessary for the performance of the agency's duties under this chapter. The Agency for Workforce Innovation may delegate to any person its power and authority under this chapter as necessary for the effective administration of this chapter and may bond any person handling moneys or signing checks under this chapter. The cost of these bonds must be paid from the Employment Security Administration Trust Fund.

(4)  EMPLOYMENT STABILIZATION.--The Agency for Workforce Innovation, under the direction of Workforce Florida, Inc., shall take all appropriate steps to reduce and prevent unemployment; to encourage and assist in the adoption of practical methods of vocational training, retraining, and vocational guidance; to investigate, recommend, advise, and assist in the establishment and operation, by municipalities, counties, school districts, and the state, of reserves for public works to be used in times of business depression and unemployment; to promote the reemployment of the unemployed workers throughout the state in every other way that may be feasible; to refer any claimant entitled to extended benefits to suitable work which meets the criteria of this chapter; and, to these ends, to carry on and publish the results of investigations and research studies.

(5)  RECORDS AND REPORTS.--Each employing unit shall keep true and accurate work records, containing the information required by the Agency for Workforce Innovation or its tax collection service provider. These records must be open to inspection and are subject to being copied by the Agency for Workforce Innovation or its tax collection service provider at any reasonable time and as often as necessary. The Agency for Workforce Innovation or its tax collection service provider may require from any employing unit any sworn or unsworn reports, for persons employed by the employing unit, necessary for the effective administration of this chapter. However, a state or local governmental agency performing intelligence or counterintelligence functions need not report an employee if the head of that agency determines that reporting the employee could endanger the safety of the employee or compromise an ongoing investigation or intelligence mission. Information revealing the employing unit's or individual's identity obtained from the employing unit or from any individual through the administration of this chapter, is, except to the extent necessary for the proper presentation of a claim or upon written authorization of the claimant who has a workers' compensation claim pending, confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1). This confidential information is available only to public employees in the performance of their public duties. Any claimant, or the claimant's legal representative, at a hearing before an appeals referee or the commission must be supplied with information from these records to the extent necessary for the proper presentation of her or his claim. Any employee or member of the commission, any employee of the Agency for Workforce Innovation or its tax collection service provider, or any other person receiving confidential information who violates this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. However, the Agency for Workforce Innovation or its tax collection service provider may furnish to any employer copies of any report previously submitted by that employer, upon the request of the employer. The Agency for Workforce Innovation or its tax collection service provider may charge a reasonable fee for copies of reports, which may not exceed the actual reasonable cost of the preparation of the copies as prescribed by rules adopted by the Agency for Workforce Innovation or the state agency providing tax collection services. Fees received by the Agency for Workforce Innovation or its tax collection service provider for copies furnished under this subsection must be deposited in the Employment Security Administration Trust Fund.

(6)  OATHS AND WITNESSES.--In the discharge of the duties imposed by this chapter, the Agency for Workforce Innovation, its tax collection service provider, the members of the commission, and any authorized representative of any of these entities may administer oaths and affirmations, take depositions, certify to official acts, and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, and other records deemed necessary as evidence in connection with the administration of this chapter.

(7)  SUBPOENAS.--If a person refuses to obey a subpoena issued to that person, any court of this state within the jurisdiction of which the inquiry is carried on, or within the jurisdiction of which the person is found, resides, or transacts business, upon application by the Agency for Workforce Innovation, its tax collection service provider, the commission, or any authorized representative of any of these entities has jurisdiction to order the person to appear before the entity to produce evidence or give testimony on the matter under investigation or in question. Failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as contempt. Any person who fails or refuses without just cause to appear or testify; to answer any lawful inquiry; or to produce books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, and other records within her or his control as commanded in a subpoena of the Agency for Workforce Innovation, its tax collection service provider, the commission, or any authorized representative of any of these entities commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Each day that a violation continues is a separate offense.

(8)  PROTECTION AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION.--A person is not excused from appearing or testifying, or from producing books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, or other records, before the Agency for Workforce Innovation, its tax collection service provider, the commission, or any authorized representative of any of these entities or as commanded in a subpoena of any of these entities in any proceeding before the Agency for Workforce Innovation, the commission, an appeals referee, or a special deputy on the ground that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of the person may incriminate her or him or subject her or him to a penalty or forfeiture. That person may not be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which she or he is compelled, after having claimed her or his privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, except that the person testifying is not exempt from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed while testifying.

(9)  STATE-FEDERAL COOPERATION.--

(a)1.  In the administration of this chapter, the Agency for Workforce Innovation and its tax collection service provider shall cooperate with the United States Department of Labor to the fullest extent consistent with this chapter and shall take those actions, through the adoption of appropriate rules, administrative methods, and standards, necessary to secure for this state all advantages available under the provisions of federal law relating to unemployment compensation.

2.  In the administration of the provisions in s. 443.1115, which are enacted to conform with the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970, the Agency for Workforce Innovation shall take those actions necessary to ensure that those provisions are interpreted and applied to meet the requirements of the federal act as interpreted by the United States Department of Labor and to secure for this state the full reimbursement of the federal share of extended benefits paid under this chapter which is reimbursable under the federal act.

3.  The Agency for Workforce Innovation and its tax collection service provider shall comply with the regulations of the United States Department of Labor relating to the receipt or expenditure by this state of funds granted under federal law; shall submit the reports in the form and containing the information the United States Department of Labor requires; and shall comply with directions of the United States Department of Labor necessary to assure the correctness and verification of these reports.

(b)  The Agency for Workforce Innovation and its tax collection service provider may cooperate with every agency of the United States charged with administration of any unemployment insurance law.

(c)  The Agency for Workforce Innovation and its tax collection service provider shall cooperate with the agencies of other states, and shall make every proper effort within their means, to oppose and prevent any further action leading to the complete or substantial federalization of state unemployment compensation funds or state employment security programs. The Agency for Workforce Innovation and its tax collection service provider may make, and may cooperate with other appropriate agencies in making, studies as to the practicability and probable cost of possible new state-administered social security programs and the relative desirability of state, rather than federal, action in that field of study.

History.--s. 12, ch. 18402, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 4151(499), 8135(40), 8135(41); s. 11, ch. 20685, 1941; s. 4, ch. 21982, 1943; s. 1, ch. 22832, 1945; s. 3, ch. 24084, 1947; ss. 8, 9, ch. 29771, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-269; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 19, ch. 63-400; ss. 10, 17, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 370, ch. 71-136; ss. 10, 11, ch. 71-225; s. 167, ch. 71-377; s. 4, ch. 74-198; s. 11, ch. 78-95; s. 18, ch. 78-300; ss. 3, 4, ch. 78-323; s. 25, ch. 79-7; s. 75, ch. 79-40; s. 6, ch. 79-308; ss. 6, 8, 9, ch. 80-95; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 81-75; s. 3, ch. 81-137; ss. 1, 4, ch. 82-46; s. 14, ch. 83-174; s. 19, ch. 89-189; s. 56, ch. 89-381; ss. 1, 2, ch. 90-168; s. 12, ch. 91-269; s. 5, ch. 91-429; ss. 5, 7, ch. 93-414; ss. 1, 5, ch. 94-118; ss. 15, 77, ch. 94-136; s. 294, ch. 96-406; s. 1066, ch. 97-103; s. 61, ch. 97-170; s. 116, ch. 98-200; s. 105, ch. 2000-153; s. 41, ch. 2003-36.

Note.--Former s. 443.12.

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