Q. Are we required to let terminated employees come in and view their actual personnel files, or can we copy the information and send it via mail? One of our fired employees has hired an attorney and wants to see her file. —T.M. California
A. First of all, if you know that a terminated employee has hired an attorney, you should coordinate all actions regarding that employee through your lawyer. Second, because access to personnel records is a state issue, your attorney should be able to tell you whether your state is one of the few that allows current or former employees the right to inspect and copy their personnel files. If you haven’t already alerted your lawyer or insurance carrier, do so right away.
Final tip: It’s not a good idea to allow fired ex-employees access to the workplace—especially angry ones, as in your case.