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Am I Allowed to See my Personnel File?

You may remember being threatened with misdeeds going on your "permanent record" when you were in grade school. The permanent record wasn't something you ever saw, but it carried an indescribable heavy importance and the threat to your future was clear.

When you're an employee, you no longer have a permanent record, but you do have a personnel file that has much of the same ring to it. Your employer may allude to having to put a note in your file or record certain actions in your file. But what is a personnel file, and do you have a right to see it?

A personnel file is generally the one spot where your employer keeps all information about you as an employee. This could include your hours, your pay, time off, benefits information, tax withholding, disciplinary actions, memos from management, references from other employers, and other documents.

There is no Federal law saying that employees have the right to view or copy their personnel file. Many states have specific provisions that give employees that right under certain conditions, such as staying on the premises or making copying of the file at their own expense.

In West Virginia, there are no laws stating that employees have a right to see their personnel file, but you can still ask. If your request is denied, make a formal request in writing. If that request is denied, you may need to speak with an attorney or a private investigator.

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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