CEO 81-56 -- September 17, 1981
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION APPEALS REFEREE
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Hearing examiners are included in the class of positions denoted as "specified employees" required to file a statement of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes. An Unemployment Compensation Appeals Referee performs the function of a hearing examiner on matters within the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Employment Security and therefore is required to file financial disclosure.
Are you, an Unemployment Compensation Appeals Referee with the Department of Labor and Employment Security, a "specified employee" subject to the requirement of filing financial disclosure annually?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "specified employee" shall file a statement of financial interests annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes. The term "specified employee" is defined to mean, among others, a "hearing examiner." Section 112.3145(1)(b)1., Florida Statutes. The term "hearing examiner" is not further defined within the Code of Ethics. However, we note that Black's Law Dictionary (5th ed.) at page 649 defines the term as follows:
Generally, a civil service employee of an administrative agency whose responsibility is to conduct hearings on matters within the agency's jurisdiction. Now called 'Administrative Law Judge' (q.v.) in the federal government.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that as an Unemployment Compensation Appeals Referee you conduct hearings and issue decisions on disputed unemployment compensation claims under Section 443.151(4), Florida Statutes (Supp. 1980). In addition, you act as Special Deputy for the Director of the Division of Employment Security in the determination and assessment of disputed contributions from employers as provided in Section 443.141(20), Florida Statutes (Supp. 1980).
Under these circumstances, we conclude that you function as a hearing examiner to conduct hearings on matters within the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Employment Security, Division of Employment Security and the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation. Accordingly, we find that you are a "specified employee" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually.