Can I request and receive all information in my employee file?

By Penny Morey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I believe that the hospital has detrimental information about me in its records.
Yes. It is well within your rights to see your entire set of employee records. Of course, it is still best to make the request politely.

Most organizations will let you make an appointment to sit down and review everything in the file, as long as someone is present to ascertain that you do not remove or change anything. Most will also make you a copy of anything in the file that you ask for.

Some organizations will only make you a copy if you pay for that to be done (e.g., 5 cents per page).

The following items should be kept in a basic personnel file:
employment application and resume; agreements such as confidentiality, noncompete, nondisclosure; college transcripts; job descriptions; hiring, promotion, demotion, transfer, layoff, rates of pay, other forms of compensation, and education and training records; employee handbook receipt; receipts for other employment policies (e.g., e-mail usage, internet usage, etc.); letters of recognition; disciplinary notices or documents; performance evaluations; test documents used
by an employer to make an employment decision.

The following items should be maintained in separate files: medical records; source documents that identify an individual's race and sex; immigration (I-9) forms; invitation to self-identify disability or veteran status; and safety training records.

Penny is a seasoned human resources executive and consultant with over 25 years of diverse business experience in advising enterprise leaders on employment-related matters.

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