Does a terminated employee have the right to their employment file and all the contents in it?

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2012

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Does a terminated employee have the right to their employment file and all the contents in it?

Is an employer obligated to release it if asked for?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, the employer is not obligated to release your employment file to you, even if they terminated you. The file is not really "your" file--it is the company's property, even if it happens to be about you, and they do not need to share it with you unless they chose to do so.

Should you sue the company, then in the course of the lawsuit, you could use the legal mechanism of "discovery" (for example, document requests; written interrogatories) to gain access to the file; however, there is no way to do so outside of the litigation context.

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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