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The Bullard-Plawecki Employee Right to Know Act gives employees the right to review their personnel records. The law requires employees to make written requests to look at the files before they seek legal redress.

Advice: Keep a clear record of all requests, to readily show when employees asked to see their files. A simple request log will do the trick.

Recent case: Walter Harris was fired from his job at Kaydon Corp. for excessive absences under the company’s no-fault attendance plan. More than three years later, he filed a lawsuit alleging violations of the ADA, federal anti-discrimination laws and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

A court tossed out all those claims because Harris had missed the filing deadlines for all three. One of his last claims was that he had been denied access to his employment records. But the court dismissed that claim too, finding that he didn’t prove he had actually made a written request for access to those records. The court even sanctioned Harris and his attorneys for filing frivolous complaints. They now must pay the employer’s legal fees. (Harris v. Kaydon Corporation, et al., No. 1:07-CV-514, WD MI, 2008)

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