Bogus Requests for Employee Records by Deisy Bach of HR Ideas Published on 1/28/13
We are seeing a rash of clients receiving a subpoena asking for employee records. The problem is that, in most of these cases, the subpoenas are not legal and not applicable to our clients. In all cases, the subpoenas appear to have been filed with the Department of Industrial Relations which is responsible for workers' compensation related cases. But, in order to file a legitimate subpoena with this department, there needs to be an open workers' compensation case. In the subpoenas we received, either no workers' compensation case had been filed, or there wasn't an open workers' compensation case, or the terminated employee filed a workers' compensation case but with another employer. In other words, they were not valid subpoenas.
If you received a subpoena for an employee's records in regards to workers' compensation, check the following:
1. Call your workers' compensation carrier and ask them if they have an open case for this employee.
2. Review the subpoena for a case number. The subpoena is only valid if it has been filed with Industrial Relations and has a case number assigned to it.
3. Make sure you are named in the subpoena as the employer.
Before sending out any employee documents to comply with a subpoena, make sure it is valid, and enforceable. If you are unsure, please have your labor attorney, HR consultant or HR Ideas review it.
This appears to be a new scam by plaintiff's attorneys to try and build a case against an employer.
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