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Q.Should an employer allow a third party to review a personnel file?

A.Be extremely careful! Absent a valid subpoena, or the written permission from the employee, an employer should NOT disclose the contents of any employee's personnel file to a third party. Allowing a third party to see the contents of an employee's personnel file can subject the employer to a lawsuit claiming invasion of the right to privacy. Even disclosure to a third party in response to a subpoena may not protect the employer from a subsequent lawsuit. In California, an attorney can issue a subpoena for documents without any prior court review, but before the employer turns over any sensitive documents contained in the employee's personnel file, the employer should give the employee notice of the subpoena.

Always consult an employment law attorney before releasing employee personnel and payroll documents to a third party.




Copyright 1999-2018 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved. All Information on this website is subject to a Disclaimer and Use Agreement. This information is provided as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. We advise you to seek the advice of competent legal counsel to address your own specific questions, facts and circumstances.