How to get things done on campus
Review your personnel file

04 December 2002 | All employees have a right to review their personnel files, although access to them may differ according to which personnel policies or union contract provisions govern their positions. Usually requests to view one’s personnel file are made in writing to the supervisor, but the formal procedure may vary depending on the contract or policy that covers the employee making the request. Staff may have the additional option of designating a representative to review their file on their behalf.

Employees should direct their requests to see their files to the office where they are kept, which is usually the department’s personnel office, says Carol Weeks, an employee-relations representative in Human Resources. The files are always maintained in secure settings to ensure that access is limited. They contain job-related materials only, including information on employment, such as the employee’s application, offer letter, and acceptance letter; the job description and performance expectations; and development records such as training, education, and degrees. They also contain performance records, attendance records, emergency data, and personnel action forms.

Generally, employees must be allowed to review their files within 30 days of making their requests to the supervisor, and sooner if possible and reasonable, says Weeks.

When an employee requests his or her file, a copy of the file is provided free of charge, and a note listing what documents were provided is enclosed in the original file. Employees must purchase additional copies. Copies of what exists at the time the request is made should be provided “as is” and not tampered with or altered in any way.

Employees should direct questions about obtaining personnel files to their departmental personnel manager or employee relations representative in Human Resources, or visit


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