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Questions and Answers

What is a personnel file?
A historical body of information on an employee from date of hire to present, maintained by the person's name or by some identifying number or symbol.

What belongs in the personnel file? (See Records Disposition Schedules Manual, contracts, and policies for required purge dates.)
Job related items, including job descriptions, HRMS Transaction Notices, where appropriate, and Emergency Data records; selection records, including application, resume, tests, and offer/acceptance letters; employee development records, including education updates, classes, degrees, and completed training; performance records, including performance appraisals, counseling memos, disciplinary letters, commendation letters, and Special Performance or Achievement Awards; separation records, including resignation letters, termination checklist, and exit interviews.

What does not belong in the departmental personnel file?
Anything not directly related to the job, including pre-employment information, reference information, grievances, outside agency complaints, affirmative action/EEO data, credit reports, and garnishments. Workers' Compensation records stay in the file, but should be removed before a file is shown to a potential hiring department.

Where is the file located?
Normally in the Department Personnel Office or the supervisor's office.

How is the file maintained?
Before you place any documentation in a personnel file, have a conversation with the employee. The employee should receive a copy of all material placed in the file.

Who can review personnel files?
The employee or designated representative, the employee's supervisor, a prospective hiring department, Employee Relations and Labor Relations staff and other UC offices with a specific need.

When can employees review their files?
As soon as is practical, but no longer than 30 days after making the request, as described in policy and contracts.

Can employees request a correction or deletion of something in the file?
Employees may request correction or deletion of a record containing information about themselves. Policies and contracts specify method, time frame, and to whom requests should be addressed.

Should we charge the employee for a copy of the file?
You should not charge for the first copy of an employee's own record; a fee of 10 cents per page may be charged for additional copies (no charge for time spent locating or assembling the file).

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