Can my employer deny me access to my personnel file?
This electronic magazine or “e-zine” is a service provided by the Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC. It is called “Can they do that?” We are asked this question frequently by employees who call asking about their rights. Our purpose is to educate you in the law of employee rights in Connecticut. We hope you find this information helpful.
Not in Connecticut. Connecticut’s Personnel Files Act (C.G.S. Section 31-128a-j), defines what a personnel file is, what an employee’s rights are and what an employer may not do.
Generally, a personnel file includes those documents on which employers base employment decisions about that employee. Obvious examples would include performance reviews or disciplinary notices. Less obvious examples would include notes from an investigation of that employee.
Employees have a right to inspect and obtain copies of their personnel file. All you need to do is make a written request. Employers are allowed to charge you a reasonable rate for copying. Employers may not release a personnel file without the written consent of the employee.
Employees are also allowed to write an “explanatory statement” if he or she disagrees with any of the information contained in the file. Usually, you should request that the information be changed, corrected or removed first. If no agreement is reached, you can write an “explanatory statement” and that statement must be maintained with your file and accompany any transmittal or disclosure made to a third party.
If you believe that a performance review or other written disciplinary memo contains false or defamatory information, you should ask that it be removed, or changed, and if your employer refuses, you have the right to submit an explanatory statement.
Contact the Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC for more information or to submit a question. You may also use our convenient online form to request your employee personnel file.