Whether you feel like you have continuously been passed over for promotions, that your employer has made unlawful decisions about you, or out of sheer curiosity, there are many reasons to want to look at your employee personnel file. After all, you work hard and your professional reputation is important to you. Under California law, you have a right to your records.
Specifically, under the California Labor Code, “Every current and former employee, or his or her representative, has the right to inspect and receive a copy of the personnel records that the employer maintains relating to the employee’s performance or to any grievance concerning the employee.” Upon request, an employer is required to make the contents of an employee’s personnel records available for inspection within 30 days of the request, unless the requestor agrees to expand that time frame to 35 days. In addition, the employer is required to offer a copy of the personnel records at a price that cannot exceed the cost of the copies.
What Should Your Personnel File Contain?
At a minimum, your employee personnel file should include:
- A copy of the job descriptions from any position you held;
- Your job applications, resumes you submitted, job offers, decline letters, and hiring documents;
- Information about your salary, wages, bonuses, or other compensation;
- Records regarding promotions and formal requests for promotion;
- Records of adverse personnel actions, including demotions, disciplinary action, probationary status, or transfers;
- Copies of performance evaluations and recorded performance measures;
- Copies of agreements or contracts between the employer and employee;
- Acknowledgements signed by the employee;
- Records of employer-provided training;
- Records of awards or recognition received by the employee;
- Records regarding layoffs or termination.
What is Not in a Personnel File?
The labor code also contains several records that are not a required element to a personnel file, including:
- Records relating to the investigation of a possible criminal offense.
- Letters of reference.
- 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.
- And the records of employees subject to the Public Safety Officer’s Procedural Bill of Rights or employees of agencies subject to the Information Practices Act of 1977.
Contact Moss Bollinger
If you have been the subject of unfair employment action, you should speak with an attorney. As an employee, you have many legal protections under state and federal employment laws. Since 2008, attorneys Ari Moss and Jeremy Bollinger have aggressively advocated for the interests of employees against unlawful employer conduct. Call Moss Bollinger so we can help determine if you have a claim. We work on a contingency basis, which means we do not get paid unless you do. Call our office at (866) 535-2994 for a free consultation or reach us online.