Under the Bullard Plawecki Employee Right to Know Act, employees are entitled to review their personnel records, make copies of those records, and file written statements clarifying or protesting any documents contained in their file. An employer’s use and disclosure of employee records are regulated by this Act as well.
The following are some of the important provisions of the Employee Right to Know Act that every employer should be aware of:
(1) Employers must make the personnel records of both current and former employees available to those employees upon written request, but not more than 2 times per year.
(2) Not all records are considered “personnel records” available for review by the employee. Only records kept and used by an employer in determining an employer’s qualifications for employment, promotions, transfers, additional compensation, or disciplinary action must be available to employee for review. Records that are not required to be open for review include, but are not limited to: employee references, employee medical records if available to employee by other means, personal information regarding a third party which could be an invasion of privacy, and documents related to employer staffing plans.
(3) Employers may charge that employee for reasonable copying charges.
(4) If an employee disputes any of the information contained in his or her personnel file, the employee is entitled to submit a written statement explaining his or her position. If either employer or employee knowingly put false information in the personnel file, legal action may be taken to remove such false information.
(5) An employer is prohibited from using in a judicial proceeding any personnel record information which was intentionally not included in the personnel record, but should have been as required by the Act.
(6) Any violation of the Employee Right to Know Act by an employer is grounds for a civil lawsuit. A court may order the employer to comply with the statute and award an employee damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
This article was written by Natalie C. Najarian, Associate at Demorest Law Firm. Click here to view her professional resume.