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Can I access my personnel file from a previous employer?

I was recently terminated and am currently trying to write a resume.It would be a more effective resume if I had certain information thats contained in my file.What are they legally obliged to send me if I request it?


Im interested in reviews and classes that i took while i was employed there...not my resume or application.

Update 2:

I live in New York and was employed for nine years.I did have copies of all my reviews but unfortunately left them behind.I do remember some information but cant recall dates or all the training that i received...the list is quite extensive.As far as being able to review my file,they no longer keep hard copies at our local location.Everything is sent to our home office in another state.

6 Answers

  • michr
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    where are you?

    in the US many (but NOT all) states do mandate that you must be provided access.......

    in a few (very few) states you must be allowed to make a copy of your personnel file..........

    in some states there is no law on the subject at all and the file is simply the property of the employer.

    most states do NOT mandate that the file must be retained after the employee is terminated, there are parts of the file that must be kept but not the entire file.


    edit the question to include where you are............


    in New York the employer does NOT have to allow you access to the personnel file, but that does not necessarily mean they don't have to allow you to see these files.

    the law for the state where the companies offices are located may mandate that you be given access or a copy.

    New York labor laws:

  • 1 decade ago

    You can request your personnel file (and almost any other information in America), as long as you make the request in writting and specifically state that you are requesting the file "pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Understand that the file may be redacted to protect any information protected by other statues (Privacy Act, ect.). Additionally, the employer may assess a fee to cover copying the file, administrative cost, ect. Because you would be requesting your personnel file (consisting of information already known and possessed by you), much of the information therein, probably won't be redacted.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you are in the US, your employee file is their property. They are responsible to keep that information confidential. You can request to see it, but they are not required to let you copy or remove it from their control. In fact, that would compromise their compliance with confidentiality laws.

    If you are looking for things like performance reviews, then you should have been provided a copy of that at the time they were given to you.

    Source(s): I'm in HR.
  • 1 decade ago

    yes, you most likely can look at your personnel file in their presence. You won't be able to take any documents. You most likely won't be able to copy any documents without a court order subpena.

    A resume includes the work duties/responsibilities you did while you were working. How do you not know what you did?!?

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  • wg0z
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    they are not obliged to send you anything. if you ask nicely for a copy of the resume you originally provided them, they might provide it... if they can.

  • 1 decade ago

    Resume maybe.Application no, that's a company document.

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