Ask the Legal: Is an employer required to give an employee a copy of her personnel file?

No. In Pennsylvania, review of personnel files is governed by the Pennsylvania Personnel File Inspection Act. While the Act does require an employer to permit current employees to review their own personnel files, the Act does not require an employer to provide a copy of the file to the employee. In fact, the Act expressly states that while employees may review their files they are not entitled to remove the file or any of its contents from the employer’s premises nor are they entitled to copy the contents of the personnel file. Employees may take notes while they are reviewing their files. Of course, should litigation ensue, certain records contained in the personnel file may be exchanged during the discovery process. For this reason, employers should retain personnel files in accordance with applicable laws.

As appeared in:  Pittsburgh Business Times, 9/20/2013

Terri Imbarlina Patak