Connecticut has rules that apply to the information that must be contained in an employee’s personnel file and when an employee is entitled to provide copies of their personnel records. In fact, the Connecticut legislature recently updated these rules and here are a couple of the most important updates that you should be aware of…
- When imposing a disciplinary action upon an employee or when terminating their employment, an employer is required to give a copy of any documentation of any disciplinary action imposed on an employee within one business day after taking such action.
- Further, an employer must now immediately provide an employee with a copy of any documented notice of the employee’s termination.
- Finally, in any documented disciplinary action or notice of termination or performance evaluation, the employer must include a statement indicating that if the employee disagrees with any information contained in the document, they may submit a written statement explaining their position, which will be maintained as part of their personnel file.
Right now, there is no definition in the law as to what constitutes a “disciplinary action.” A reasonable interpretation of the law is that an employer has to provide only copies of disciplinary documents that it chooses to create (such as a written warning or a suspension notice), with no obligation to create a record of counseling or a record of an oral warning just for the purpose of giving it to the employee.
We have always recommended to our clients that counselings/verbal critiques should be memoralized in writing whenever possible, with an employee sign off as to receipt and understanding of the counseling. We still advocate doing just that, and now adding to the memo the line that states that if the employee disagrees with any information contained in the memo, they may submit a written statement explaining their position, which will be maintained as part of their personnel file. We also recommend providing a written notice of termination to the employee for every termination (with the reason for the termination and with the same statement about an employee’s right to submit a written response of disagreement) only if such notice is actually created for the termination.
If you need help understanding the rules surrounding personnel files from an employer’s vantage point, call a well trained Connecticut employment law attorney. Each of the attorneys at Kainen, Escalera & McHale have over twenty years of experience with these matters. And we are Connecticut’s leading employer defense law firm. Contact us if we can help you.
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