Colorado law does not require employers to disclose their employees' personnel files if requested. Although many other states provide their residents with a legal right to review their personnel files during reasonable work hours, Colorado does not. However, although Colorado law does not require employers to provide personnel information to their employees, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment allows employees with other rights to receive wage information.
Colorado Wage Act
The Colorado Wage Act requires employers to keep records of wages and provide their employees a written itemization at least one per month. Colorado employees have a right to receive individual pay statements reflecting their gross and net earnings and deductions. Although Colorado law does not require employers to provide access to their employees' personnel files, it does provide employees with a right to demand payment of any wages they believe are due and owing by filing a written "Demand for Payment of Wages."
Demand for Payment of Wages
The Colorado Division of Labor is responsible for investigating wage complaints from employees against their employers. Under Colorado law, employees can also issue a "Demand for Payment of Wages" form to their employers for payment of owed wages. Colorado law allows employs to make a written demand for immediate payment of owed wages in accordance with the Colorado Revised Statutes. The demand letter requires that employers immediately pay any owed wages pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 8. Failure to pay any owed wages can result in a penalty of at least 125 percent of the owed wages. Employees must file their demands within 60 days of job termination.
Under both Colorado law and federal labor laws, employers have posting duties to post workplace posters in conspicuous areas where their employees can easily obtain information about their employment rights. The Colorado Minimum Wage Orders requires employers in the service sectors to post wage information or make it available for viewing by their employees if posting would be impractical.
Colorado Personnel File Management Law
Colorado law requires public employers to keep personnel files recording leave, earnings and job promotion and review information an "Official Personnel File for Permanent Employees." This law is not a disclosure law but a recordkeeping law for employers. Employers must also keep records for at least 10 years. The Colorado Open Records Act covers the gap left by the federal Freedom of Information Act. Under the federal FOIA law, federal agencies must disclose public records pursuant to written requests, but the federal law does not require state or local governments to disclose this information. The Colorado Open Records Act applies to state and local Colorado agencies, and anyone can request these public records.
Since state laws can frequently change, do not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.
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