Employee files - can they get a copy when termed?

It has been practice at previous employers that we do not give copies of documentation regarding termination to the employee, even if they ask.  One of the managers where I am currently working is challenging that decision.  I have searched the web-site and can't find anything specific to AZ.  Does anyone have a clue?


  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Many states have statutes allowing employees access to their own personnel records but Arizona does not have a law covering private sector employees. However, public employees (or their designated representatives with written authorization) may review their own personnel files (AZ Admin. Code R2-5-105).
  • To take it a step further, most states have provisions allowing EMPLOYEES to VIEW their employee file.

    Once termed, those provisions do not apply.  Moreover, in some states you do not have to let them even take notes about the contents of their EE file and I am not aware of any state whose provision requires the ER to allow an EE to make copies of their contents of their EE file.

    My records show no state law covering access to personnel files in the state of Arizona.  That suggests that it is a matter for managerial dsicretion.  The wisest course for the Company, in general, is not to release proprietary documents without a court order.  Is this a former manager or a manager who wants a former employee of his or her to have a copy of their file?  If it's a former employer, tell them no dice.  Proprietary document.  If they tell you they want their former subordinate to have it, then start questioning why they want to take a position that is against the company's best interests.

    If it's a former employer and they tell you they are asking because their attorney told them to, then you can pretty well bank on the fact that they haven't spoken to an attorney.  The first thing the attorney tells their client is to stop talking to anybody about the issue.

  • I agree with TXHRGuy that I wouldn't release the documents without a supoena. 

    There are a few states that do allow employees to copy their files:

    • Alabama - public employees
    • Alaska - current and former employees
    • Conn - copy personnel records (but only certain things)
    • Indiana - public employees
    • Iowa - employees (except for employment references)
    • Maine - current and former employees (need written request) - Employers required to provide a copy to employees once year free of charge
    • Nevada - current and former employees (but only certain things)
    • Oregon - employees (only certain things)
    • Rhode Island - employees (only certain things)
    • Wisconsin - employees (2 times per year)

    HR.BLR has a spreadsheet that lists all this information by state.

Sign In or Register to comment.