Subject: Personnel Files
Approval Date: 07/01/85
Revision Date: 03/26/87, 09/15/05
To identify the contents of personnel files and to establish procedures for review and release of the contents.
The University maintains a personnel file on each employee for the purpose of personnel management and for personal review as appropriate. The University shall take appropriate steps to protect the privacy of personal information contained in personnel files. The Director of Human Resources is responsible for maintaining the personnel files.
Copies of documents may also be retained on file within the administrative unit in which the employee works. If other files are maintained, privacy and safekeeping shall conform, in all respects, to the provisions of this policy. However, the official file, or record copy, is maintained in the Office of Human Resources.
PERSONNEL FILE CONTENTS:
The following is a description of documents which may be retained in the personnel files:
A. Application for Employment;
B. Resumes or Curriculum Vitae;
C. Personnel Action Request (PAR);
D. Vacation Requests;
E. Accident Reports;
F. Performance Appraisal Reports;
G. Disciplinary Records, Counseling Records and other related documentation (NOTE: For inclusion of this type documentation in personnel files, the originator of the document must clearly state in the document, "A copy of this correspondence will be placed in your official personnel file.");
H. Appropriate insurance, retirement, and other benefits information;
I. Employee Separation Clearance Form; and
J. Diplomas, certificates, training records, and related personal accomplishment documentation which may be submitted.
A request for access to review the file shall be made in writing in advance by the individual to the Director of Human Resources. Internal access to the official personnel file maintained in the Office of Human Resources is subject to the following guidelines:
A. An employee may review his/her official personnel file subject to the following:
1. The following types of documents, or copies thereof, shall be accessible for review upon request:
a. Personnel action forms (such as original appointment, transfer, promotion, leave of absence, layoff, change in salary, change of title)
b. On-the-job accident reports
c. Internal correspondence to the employee
d. Attendance records
e. Letters of commendation
f. Letters of reprimand
g. Insurance forms
h. Retirement forms
i. Biographical data form
j. Employment application
k. Grievance forms and answers
l. Official management performance evaluations
m. Workers' Compensation documents
2. The following types of documents, or copies thereof, shall not be accessible for review:
a. Letters or memoranda of reference
b. Information relating to the investigation of a possible criminal offense
c. Information being developed or prepared for use in civil, criminal, or grievance procedures
d. Medical records (with the exception of Worker's Compensation documents)
e. Materials used by the University to plan for future operations
3. The review of the file shall be made during the regular business hours of the Office of Human Resources. A representative of that office shall be present with the employee during his or her review of the file.
4. An employee shall be permitted to make handwritten notes from the file but shall not be permitted to remove the file or portions thereof.
5. Copies of any accessible material shall be forwarded on request to the employee upon payment of a fee for each copy.
B. Department Chairs/Office Directors, Deans/Supervisors of Office Directors, Vice Presidents and the President may request and review an individual personnel file provided there is an official University need for such access and provided the individual, whose file is to be reviewed, is under the requestor's supervision. Requests to review records must be made in writing in advance by the requestor to the Director of Human Resources.
External access to official personnel files without specific written authorization is subject to the following guidelines:
A. "Directory information" about an employee will be released by the Office of Human Resources without authorization from the individual employee. Directory information includes the fact of past or present employment, verification of dates of employment, and position or title.
B. An employee's employing unit, campus address, and campus and home telephone numbers may be made available through campus telephone directory information.
C. Information which is a matter of public record elsewhere, e.g., statistics as reflected in the official minutes of meetings of the Board of Regents, will be considered as public information. The University will not, however, relinquish its right to limit access to its files on a "need-to-know" basis, even though such information may be public information, i.e., administrative files are not a library source for the curious. At the discretion of the Director of Human Resources, however, public information contained in the personnel files may be released on the request of other agencies or at the discretion of University officials.
OTHER EXTERNAL ACCESS:
Other external access to official personnel files will be authorized by the Office of Human Resources under the following circumstances:
A. To protect the legal interests of the University when the Director of Human Resources believes actions of an employee, or former employee, violate(d) the conditions of employment or otherwise threaten injury to University interest(s), University property, or to others.
B. To a law enforcement authority when the Director of Human Resources believes that an applicant, employee, or former employee may have engaged in illegal activities.
C. In response to a request by a properly identified law enforcement authority to provide an individual's dates of attendance at work and home address.
D. Pursuant to a federal, state, or local government statute or regulation that specifically requires disclosure of certain information to certain parties.
E. In response to a lawfully issued administrative summons or judicial order, including a search warrant or subpoena. A subpoena or other legal process for the production of the personnel file shall be reviewed by the University Legal Counsel prior to release of the information.
F. In compelling circumstances affecting the immediate health or safety of the individual.
DISPUTED MATERIAL IN PERSONNEL FILES:
The following procedures will be used in case of a dispute over material or information in the file.
A. The employee who objects to material or information in the file should submit, in writing, a request for its removal to the Director of Human Resources.
B. The Director of Human Resources will review the request and, in cooperation with the employee's supervisor(s), decide if the disputed material or information should be removed. The Director of Human Resources shall inform the employee of the decision.
C. If the decision is favorable to the employee, the material or information will be returned to the employee for his/her disposition.
D. If the decision is not favorable, the employee may submit, in writing, an appeal through supervisory channels to the President. The decision of the President is the final step in the appeal process.
The University shall act within the directives of appropriate Federal and Kentucky State Law regarding such files.