Do I have to legally release a copy of an employee’s timesheet, if they call and ask for it?

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Do I have to legally release a copy of an employee’s timesheet, if they call and ask for it?

An employee I terminated a few weeks ago, called and asked me for the last 6 months of her actual filled out time sheets. Do I legally have to release those to her if asked? We are a small employer with less that 15 employees.

Asked on January 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Personnel records, including time sheets, belong to the company. As a general matter, you do not need to provide an employee access to his or her personnel records. That can and will change if the employee brings a claim against you for unpaid or incorrectly paid wages; in a lawsuit, for example, there are legal mechanisms by which the employee and his or her attorney can access these. However, short of a lawsuit, you do not need to share this data with the employee. That said, if there is nothing harmful in them--i.e. you believe you've complied with all requirements, paid the employee correctly, etc.--you could consider offering to give copies to the employee if she will pay the cost of copying and mailing/fed exing/etc. them.


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