Massachusetts Employees Have the Right to See Their Personnel File

Do you ever wonder what your employer is saying about you in your personnel file? Under Massachusetts law, employees have the absolute right to see what their employer is placing in their personnel file.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 149, section 52C provides that upon written request an employer must allow an employee the chance to review his or her personnel file within 5 business days. The review must take place during normal business hours and at the place of employment. The employee can also request a copy of the personnel file and the copy must be provided within 5 days of the request. The employer, however, is not required to allow an employee to review his or her personnel file on more than 2 separate occasions during a calendar year.

Chapter 149 also requires an employer to notify an employee within 10 days of the employer placing any information in the personnel file that might negatively affect the employee’s qualification for employment, promotion, transfer, additional compensation or the possibility that the employee will be subject to disciplinary action.

What’s interesting about this law is that if an employer violates its terms, the employer can be subject to a fine of between $500 to $2,500.  Enforcement of the law is performed by the Massachusetts Attorney General.

 

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