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I do have a right to see my personnel files or anything my manager has on file about me correct?
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I do have a right to see my personnel files or anything my manager has on file about me correct?

Is there anyone out there that knows about this? I'm in hot water at work and it seems my company is looking for ways to get rid of me 'cause I went out on work stress - and I'm now back. I'm still seeking medical care so I think that might be the only thing saving me right now. HELP!


misty m
Look up the Family Medical Leave Act. It may apply to your situation.

Actually, there are many states that have laws giving current employees -- and former employees -- access to their own personnel files. However, the extent of access provided varies from state to state. Typically, if your state allows employees to see their files, you can insist that you or another supervisor be present to make sure nothing is taken, added, or changed. Some state laws allow employees to obtain copies of items in their files, but not necessarily all items. For example, a law may limit the employee's access to only copies of documents that he or she has signed, such as a job application. If the employee is entitled to a copy of an item in the file the usual procedure should be the HR person or supervisor makes the copy for them and not the employee. Also, they won't have to let the employe view sensitive items such as information assembled for a criminal investigation, reference letters, and information that might violate the privacy of other people.

To find out if your state has such a law(s) contact your State Department of Labor. I would have been happy to let you know, but you do not state where you reside. I hope this helps.

It's crazy, but our own personnel and medical records are kept from us, although a lot of other people see them.

Michelle B
It varies by state, but for the most part the only way you can view the contents of your personnel file is if you contact the main Human Resource Office - in writing - and make a request. As a manager, I am not allowed to show anyone the contents of their file unless corporate gives me written authorization to do so.

It is the only thing saving you right now. If you sense that they are putting undue stress upon you, and constantly looking for mistakes, then you should start keeping a log yourself. Misty M is right, you should look up the Family Leave Act laws, and then once you have a clear understanding of the laws that protect you, you should make an appointment with HR and let them know that you feel there is pressure from within to work you out of the company, and you know that there are specific events occurring to accomplish this. Ask them how they think they can make this work, and if your illness is being held against you? Bring the company behavior into the light. Let them know this is an official meeting that you would like noted by HR. You may also want to let them know that you are keeping a journal for your own protection as well.

Depending on where you live, you are generally entitled to review documents you signed as well as performance documentation and disciplinary actions.

The larger issue is that of retaliatory action. It IS illegal for a company to retaliate against an employee who files a work comp claim and/or takes a protected leave such as a worker's comp leave. Check here for info on retaliation, wrongful termination, protected leaves, etc. - there should be a link to your state site: www.dol.gov. You may also want to check www.eeoc.gov.

Good luck.

You need to check the laws for your state as to your rights to see contents of your personnel file. Most states have the law that you are entitled to see all documents in your personnel file, and can have a copy of any documents you signed. If she/he has a separate file on you that they keep that is not part of your personnel file and you are not entitled to see her/his personal file.

Make sure you have complied with all policies concerning leaves of absence that your company has. (calling in, notifications of doctor appointments, filing time off requests in a timely manner). If your employer falls under the requirements for FMLA make sure you filed all documents for that. (50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius)

I suggest you start keeping track of emails, conversations, dates/times of any discussions you have had with your manager or HR about your medical situation. That way you have records if you think your employer is trying to get rid of you because of your illness, look into the American Disability Act and also Worker's Compensation. FMLA is if you are receiving medical treatment on your own (operation, care for a sick spouse/blood-related family member). Worker's compensation is work caused - stress and injury. As far as looking at your personnel file, you should be able to. If they won't let you, I think it's kind of fishy. However, you'll be supervised the whole time. You'll probably have an appointment with HR, where you can look at your personnel file with them sitting there. You are not allowed to remove or copy anything out of that file.

Welcome to capitalism. You really have no rights, unless you can hire an expensive lawyer.

I am wondering if it is legal for my former Boss to add things too my file. I find it very damaging with the things the Owner or Boss has placed in my file.. Thank you for your time! MARK SEGMILLER..

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