Access to Files

(1) Employee access
State laws give employees the right to examine their personal employment records maintained in the official personnel file, with certain exceptions. This allows employees the opportunity to confirm information in the file and identify any specific information which is believed to be incorrect. An employer may exercise reasonable control over the time and location of these examinations. Ownership of the personnel file and its contents rests with the University.

Under Section 1798.38 of the Information Practices Act, an individual may request to inspect all the personal information in his or her personnel record. An employee's request to view his or her personnel file must be made in writing to his or her supervisor. Any record containing personal information cannot be removed from the personnel file once a request to view the file has been made. Access to an employee's personnel file is limited to the employee or the employee's designated representative, the employee's supervisor or department head, a prospective hiring manager, Employee Relations or Labor Relations staff, and other UC officials with a job-related need for information. Similar to records requested for inspection, records placed on litigation hold by the University may not be removed from the personnel file either.

Policy 80 in Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) requires that access to an employee's own official personnel file be provided within 30 calendar days from the receipt of a request. For records that are geographically dispersed, inactive or in storage, PPSM 80 requires access to records within 60 calendar days. However, departments are encouraged to provide employee access as soon as reasonably possible after receiving an employee's written request to view the official personnel file.

Collective bargaining agreements have varying requirements about access to staff personnel files. Department managers are encouraged to refer to an employee's labor contract for the procedure to allow access to the files of a represented employee.

(2) Access to Files by Hiring Manager
Hiring managers are strongly encouraged to view the official personnel file of a University employee who is a finalist for a position in their department. Hiring managers may also request to see the personnel file of a UC employee working at a different UC location as part of their background and reference checking of finalists for their positions. The home department is responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of an employee's medical file during the hiring process. Medical information is not to be shared with the hiring manager.

In the case of an employee who seeks accommodation, the hiring department should work with the employee to determine a reasonable solution to the employee's request for accommodation. The hiring department may ask the employee to provide it with information about the type of accommodation that is needed. The employee's medical file should only be sent to the hiring manager once the hiring process is completed.