Q. One of our employees is having disagreements with his supervisor over performance issues. The employee has asked to see his personnel file. Does he have a legal right to see his file?
A. Private-sector employees have no right to see their files or make copies of any documents. If you have a unionized work force, the union may have access to the file in order to fulfill its duty to administer the labor contract (e.g., to see if a grievance should be filed or aid in the presentation of a grievance) or to assist in collective bargaining.
However, in the interest of good, most employers have a policy allowing employees an opportunity to review their personnel files at a reasonable time and place.
You can and should prohibit removing and copying files. In addition, do not allow former employees to browse their files.
- Deciding on promotion? Purge file of prior litigious actions
- Under 50 employees? How FMLA could apply to you regardless
- Use TEAM approach to stay union-free in a union-friendly world
- Design development plan around person's life, not just the job
- Harassment: State LAD covers outside business relationships, too