Must we allow employee to review everything in her personnel file?

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in HR Management,Human Resources

Q. One of our employees has asked to see her personnel file. Are we required to show her the file? If so, do we have to give her access to everything contained in the file?

A. Employees may inspect their personnel file/records at reasonable times and intervals. To facilitate the inspection, employers must do one of the following:

  • Keep a copy of the personnel records at the place where the employee reports to work;
  • Make the personnel records available to the employee at the place where he or she reports to work within a reasonable period time following his or her request to inspect such records; or
  • Allow the employee to inspect his or her personnel records at the location where the records are stored, with no loss of compensation to the employee.

Employers should note that the right to inspect does not apply to:

  • Records relating to the investigation of a possible criminal offense;
  • Letters of reference; or
  • Ratings, reports or records that were (a) obtained prior to the employee’s employment, (b) prepared by identifiable examination committee members, or (c) obtained in connection with a promotional examination.

An employee is entitled to see records in his or her personnel file such as application for employment, payroll authorization form, notices of commendation, warning, discipline, and/or termination, notices of layoff, leave of absence, and vacation, notices of wage attachment or garnishment, education and training notices and records, performance appraisals/reviews, attendance records.

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