Colo. employees granted access to personnel files

A new law goes into effect Jan. 1 that will require most private employers to respond to their employees’ requests to inspect and copy their personnel files.

As a result, we’re advising our corporate clients to reassess their records management practices and consider developing procedures for handling requests from employees to access their personnel file.

Under the law, employees will be allowed to inspect their personnel file only at the employer’s office and at a time convenient to both the employer and the employee.

The law also permits an employer to restrict an employee’s review of their personnel file to take place only in the presence of an individual designated by the employer.

The employer also may require the employee or former employee to pay the reasonable cost of duplication of documents.

The new law does not require employers to create, maintain, or retain a personnel file on an employee or former employee. It does not require an employer to retain for a specific period of time documents that are or were contained in an employee’s personnel file.

Further, the law does not create a private right of action for employees alleging violations of the law.

The law does not apply to financial institutions chartered and supervised under state or federal law, including banks, trust companies, savings institutions and credit unions.

About the Author

Lon Matejczyk

Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group.  Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.

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