What rights do employees have to view their own records?

For example, I’m under the impression that employees can view their personnel files. What about contracts signed upon engagement, including such things as non-compete agreements?

Ann Kiernan replies:

The answer depends on where you work and who you work for. There is no federal law on this subject, and while most states have some kind of personnel file access law, others do not.

In your state, Nevada, the law is that, if you ask, your employer is required to give you a reasonable opportunity to inspect your personnel records. You can inspect files containing information used by the employer to determine your employment qualifications, as well as any disciplinary action taken. However, you do not get access to confidential reports from previous employers or investigative agencies, or information concerning a criminal investigation of you or any subsequent arrest, or conviction.

Employers are allowed to charge employees a reasonable copying fee. I hope that this is helpful.

Posted 06-06-2017

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.