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Personnel Files

Must manager release notes on performance when employee requests personnel file?

Q. One of our managers keeps notes of performance issues in a file that he uses for completing performance appraisals. One person he supervises has made a written request to see her personnel file—and specifically asked for information in the manager’s file. Do we have to give the notes to the employee? …

Must we explain reason for termination?

Q. We are about to terminate an employee for several reasons. Are we required to provide a written document explaining the reasons for her termination? …

After a merger, must you draft new I-9s for all employees?

Q. Our company is currently going through a merger. Are we required to complete a new I-9 employment eligibility form for each employee who worked for the other company, or are these employees “grandfathered” in? …

Payroll records: Timekeeping for exempt, nonexempt workers

Federal wage-and-hour laws require you to have a reliable system to accurately keep track of employees’ hours and pay. Casual timekeeping systems can easily trigger a back-wage lawsuit. Here’s the bottom line on how to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act’s complicated requirements.

Must we release personnel file to employee terminated for inappropriate behavior?

Q. We recently terminated an employee for inappropriate workplace behavior. About two weeks after his last day of work, I received a letter from him requesting a copy of his personnel file. He did not state why he wanted it (although I can guess), and I’d rather not give him possible ammunition to use against the company in a lawsuit. Are we required to provide terminated employees access to or copies of their personnel files? …

The wisdom of showing written performance reviews to employees

Q. We usually don’t allow our employees to read or comment on their annual evaluations. Instead, we perform a performance review one-on-one and have them sign an acknowledgment that they have discussed their performance. Do we need to provide them with a copy of the evaluation? …

Kansas Employers Take Note: New K-4 Withholding Form Required

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Do employees have the right to access their personnel files?


Q. One of our employees is having disagreements with his supervisor over performance issues. The employee has asked to see his personnel file. Does he have a legal right to see his file? …

Must we release former employees’ files?


Q. I recently got a form in the mail, signed by a former employee, authorizing release of her personnel file to her attorney. Must I honor it? …

Must we release employee files in response to a subpoena?

Q. We recently received a subpoena to turn over an employee’s personnel file. The employee is a party to a lawsuit; the company is not. Do we have to comply? Should we tell the employee?