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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 145-S.F.No. 564 
                  An act relating to employment; providing for access to 
                  employee assistance records; requiring employee 
                  assistance records to be kept separate from personnel 
                  records; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
                  Statutes, chapter 181. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  [181.980] [ACCESS TO EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE 
        RECORDS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) For the purpose of this 
        section, the following terms have the meanings given to them in 
        this subdivision. 
           (b) "Employee assistance services" means services paid for 
        or provided by an employer and offered to employees or their 
        family members on a voluntary basis.  The services are designed 
        to assist in the identification and resolution of productivity 
        problems associated with personal concerns.  Services include, 
        but are not limited to, assessment; assistance; counseling or 
        referral assistance with medical or mental health problems; 
        alcohol or drug use; or emotional, marital, familial, financial, 
        legal, or other personal problems. 
           (c) "Employer" means a person or entity located or doing 
        business in the state and having one or more employees, but does 
        not include a government entity that is subject to chapter 13. 
           (d) "Employee assistance provider" means an employer, or a 
        person acting on behalf of an employer, who is providing 
        employee assistance services. 
           (e) "Employee assistance records" means the records 
        created, collected, or maintained by an employee assistance 
        provider that relate to participation by an employee or an 
        employee's family member in employee assistance services. 
           Employee assistance records do not include:  
           (1) written or recorded comments or data of a personal 
        nature about a person other than the employee, if disclosure of 
        the information would constitute an intrusion upon that person's 
        privacy; 
           (2) written or recorded comments or data kept by the 
        employee's supervisor or an executive, administrative, or 
        professional employee, provided the written comments or data are 
        kept in the sole possession of the author of the record; 
           (3) information that is not discoverable in a worker's 
        compensation, grievance arbitration, administrative, judicial, 
        or quasi judicial proceeding; or 
           (4) any portion of a written, recorded, or transcribed 
        statement by a third party about the recipient of employee 
        assistance services that discloses the identity of the third 
        party by name, inference, or otherwise.  
           Subd. 2.  [ACCESS.] Upon written request of a person who 
        has received employee assistance services, or a parent or legal 
        guardian of the person if the person is a minor, an employee 
        assistance provider shall provide the requesting person with an 
        opportunity to review and obtain copies of the person's employee 
        assistance records or the pertinent portion of the records 
        specified by the person.  An employee assistance provider shall 
        comply with a request under this subdivision no later than seven 
        working days after receipt of the request if the records are 
        located in this state, or 14 working days after receipt of the 
        request if the records are located outside this state.  An 
        employee assistance provider may not charge a fee for a copy of 
        the record.  
           Subd. 3.  [RELATION TO PERSONNEL FILE.] Employee assistance 
        records must be maintained separate from personnel records and 
        must not become part of an employee's personnel file. 
           Subd. 4.  [OTHER RIGHTS PRESERVED.] The rights and 
        obligations created by this section are in addition to rights or 
        obligations created under a contract or other law governing 
        access to records. 
           Subd. 5.  [DISCLOSURE.] No portion of employee assistance 
        records, or participation in employee assistance services, may 
        be disclosed to a third person, including the employer or its 
        representative, without the prior written authorization of the 
        person receiving services, or the person's legal 
        representative.  This subdivision does not prohibit disclosure: 
           (1) pursuant to state or federal law or judicial order; 
           (2) required in the normal course of providing the 
        requested services; or 
           (3) if necessary to prevent physical harm or the commission 
        of a crime.  
           Subd. 6.  [REMEDIES.] In addition to other remedies 
        provided by law, the recipient of employee assistance services 
        may bring a civil action to compel compliance with this section 
        and to recover actual damages, plus costs and reasonable 
        attorney fees. 
           Presented to the governor May 17, 2001 
           Signed by the governor May 21, 2001, 10:56 a.m.