Can my job refuse me my personal file after I have been fired if I signed something about it when I was hired2 years ago?

UPDATED: Dec 2, 2011

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Can my job refuse me my personal file after I have been fired if I signed something about it when I was hired2 years ago?

I was recently fired for not coming to work after a manager told me I didn’t work for a week. The manager denies saying this and after a long argument I ask for my personal file. They refused to give it to me stating it was company property and I signed the rights away to it 2 years ago when I was hired. Can they do that?

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It actually doesn't matter if you "signed the rights away" to the file previously, since even in the absence of that, the company would not be required to give it to you. They are right; the file is company property, not your property, and they are under no obligation to provide it to you unless there was a contract (e.g. employmen or severance agreement) specifically requiring them to do so.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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