Personnel Records

An Irvine employment attorney can explain that California employees have the legal right to examine their own personnel files and to copy payroll records. Additionally, they have the right to receive copies of certain documents.


The provision regarding the ability to inspect personnel records extends to current employees and former employees. This involves the inspection of any documents relating to the employee’s performance or any grievance concerning the employee. However, this provision does not require employers to allow open inspection of all documents. For example, employers do not have to provide letters of reference, records of criminal investigations or records that were acquired before the employee’s employment.The employer must retain records for a minimum of three years after the termination of the employment.

Employees have the right to inspect their payroll records as well. Payroll records should include certain information as part of a stub, voucher or separate document. This information should include the number of hours that the employee worked, the hourly rate of pay, deductions, gross wages and net wages. An Irvine employment attorney can explain that employees do not have the right to inspect records if the employee is embroiled in litigation against the employer.

Copying Records

Employers also have the right to copy certain records. This includes copying payroll records. The employee has to make the request verbally or in writing. The employer has 21 days to comply with the request. Additionally, the employee has the right to receive copies of any documents that he or she signed that relate to their job. For example, the employee may request a copy of his or her employment contract, employee handbook and non-compete agreement.

Legal Assistance

For more information on your rights, contact an Irvine employment lawyer from Daily Aljian LLP.

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