Employee's Right to View Personal Files

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When trying to find information about an employee's right to view personal files, it's important to first consider the laws of each state. Find out when a subpoena is needed to produce personnel files with help from a certified civil mediator in this free video on law and legal questions.

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Video Transcript

You have an interest in looking at your personnel file and you're not sure whether your employer has to let you look at it or not. Hello, I'm Robert Todd, and I'm here to answer the question: What is an employee's right to look at a personnel file? Well, first of all, this is an area that is probably going to be governed by state law and is going to vary from state to state in all 50 states. So the first thing you want to do is check the laws of your state with regard to an individual's right to look at their own personnel file or, for that matter, an individual...an individual's right to look at another's personnel file. Generally speaking, an individual employee has the right to look at his or her own personnel file. It doesn't mean that they can add anything to it or take anything out of it, but they generally have a right to look at their own personnel file. Now, when it comes to looking at others' personnel files, unless they are of a supervisory nature or have a legitimate business reason to look at another individual's personnel file, it will generally require a subpoena or court order to produce that personnel file of another for them to look at. Again, this is a complex area of the law, and if you can't find the answer by simply looking at your state's laws, you may want to consider consulting a labor or employment labor who has a specialty in handling personnel files and looking at personnel files. I'm Robert Todd, and thank you for watching.

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