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I worked for a Company in Connecticut. Am I entitled to see my Personnel File?

above-the-bar-logo-no12.jpgYes. Private sector employees and former employees (who worked for a company in Connecticut and have not been separated for more than one year) in Connecticut are allowed under state law, Conn. Gen. Stat. Chapter 563a Secs. 31-128a to 31-128i, to see their personnel files.

How to Make Your Request to Review Your Personnel File

You cannot simply make a verbal request to see your personnel file. Your request must be in writing. It is advisable to either deliver your written request by personal delivery or by certified mail. You should always keep a copy of your written request and proof of delivery so your employer cannot claim it never received your request. Although there is no specific proscribed time period in the law, the company is required to make your personnel file available for inspection for review within a reasonable time period after your request at the Company’s premises or near the employer’s premises during regular business hours.

What Should Be Included In Your Personnel File and a Company’s Response

According to the statute, your personnel file should include documents and reports including emails and faxes regarding your “eligibility for employment, promotion, additional compensation, transfer, termination, disciplinary or other adverse action including employee evaluations or reports relating to [your] character, credit and work habits” See Sec. 31-128a.

What You Will Not Find in Your Personnel File

Under the state law, your personnel file will not include stock option plan information, management bonus plan information, your medical records, letters of recommendations or references, documents regarding employer’s plan for future operations, documents contained in separately maintained security files, test related documents, or documents which are being developed or prepared for use in civil, criminal or grievance procedures.

A “security file” refers to documents relating to an investigation of loss, misconduct or suspected crime, and investigative information maintained pursuant to government
requirements, provided such memoranda, documents, or information are maintained separately and not used to determine an employee’s eligibility for employment.

How Often Can I Review my Personnel File?

The law places a limit on the amount of times an eligible individual can seek to review their personnel file. You are entitled to review your personnel file up to two times per calendar year
What If I Disagree with Something in My Personnel File?

You can ask the Company to remove or correct the inaccurate information in your personnel file. If the Company refuses to remove or correct the information, you should submit a rebuttal statement stating why you believe that certain information is inaccurate. Your rebuttal statement should be included in your personnel file so the inaccurate information is not without a response.

Do I Have Any Rights Beyond the State Law?

If you are a public sector employee or a member of a union, you may have additional rights under a collective bargaining agreement or other authority. Some public employees must be told that government agency has received a Freedom of Information Act request to review their personnel file. The public employee should be given an opportunity to respond within the stated time period before his or her personnel file is released. You should consult with your union representative and an experienced employment law attorney if you have any questions.

What If My Employer Refuses to Allow Me Access to My Personnel File?

A Connecticut employer is subject to monetary penalties for refusing to provide personnel files for inspection and review to eligible individuals. You should contact our Stamford, Greenwich and Norwalk Connecticut Employment Law Attorneys to enforce your rights. You should always request a copy of your personnel file because it could be very useful in analyzing any potential employment law claims.

Disclaimer: 

Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney in your state or jurisdiction.