You can ask a former employer for your personnel file by getting in touch with them (typically in writing) and requesting access to the file. Employers are obligated by law to keep records of your time at work. In general, you are entitled to see these records.
If you have experienced a wrongful termination, your personnel records may be useful evidence. Read on to learn more and then contact PLBSH at (800) 435-7542 if you need assistance from an employment law attorney.
What’s the best way to request my file?
The best way to obtain access to your personnel file from a previous employer is to make a written request for it. Submit your request to the appropriate person or division at your former employer. You should get the legal counsel of a labor lawyer at a reputed law firm prior to making the request.
Access to your personnel records is not governed by federal law. It’s crucial to understand the state law that applies. Requesting your personnel data from a previous job could involve a complicated procedure. If there is, you must adhere to it.
Nonetheless, in most cases, you can send a written request for access to your personnel file. The request should always be in writing. Emailing the request also works. You leave a paper trail by making the request in writing. You need to be able to demonstrate that the request was sent and received.
What if my employer didn’t have an HR department?
You should address the request to the proper individual or division. Send it to the HR department of your old workplace, if one existed. Send the request to one of the following if there is no HR department: Your previous boss or whoever you believe is in charge of employee personnel records.
Employers are required by law to respond to and abide by these requests. They typically get a fair amount of time to reply, though.
What records must my employer maintain?
Employers must maintain records of your employment in their personnel files. Various states may have different requirements. Your employee’s personnel file will often contain your job application, wage information, hours worked, frequently in the form of timesheets, payroll records, vacation time, medical leave, or sick time, information about any leaves of absence you have taken while working, your contact information, including your address and any disciplinary actions taken against you.
It might also include internal memos regarding disciplinary meetings or discussions, performance evaluations, letters of reference, medical records related to any workplace injuries, and complaints or recommendations about you from coworkers, supervisors, customers, or clients.
Why is it crucial to have access to it?
Your personnel file may contain important information if you have experienced a negative employment action. Such data can be used as proof for a number of legal claims, such as: wrongful termination of employment, harassment at work, discrimination, retaliation, and infractions of the wage and hour laws.
After receiving a negative employment decision, current and former employees should carefully consider examining their personnel file. This includes the times they have been denied a promotion or more money, laid off, demoted, moved, or terminated. There may be proof in the employment file that this workplace setback was improper.
What do I do if my employer refuses?
If you are seeking your file for legal action, you should contact an attorney. In fact, you should contact an attorney before you make the initial request. If you have already made the request and it has been ignored or denied, contact PLBSH at (800) 435-7542 for a free legal consultation.