5.23.1 Personnel Records Protocols

Created: October 1, 2018

Records open to Inspection

The following information on each employee shall be maintained and open for inspection:

  • Name.
  • Age.
  • Date of original employment or appointment to State service, the terms of any contract by which the employee is employed whether written or oral, past and current, to the extent that the agency has the written contract or a record of the oral contract in its possession.
  • Current position.
  • Title.
  • Current salary (includes pay, benefits, incentives, bonuses, and deferred and all other forms of compensation).
  • Date and amount of each increase or decrease in salary with that department, agency, institution, commission, or bureau.,
  • Date and type of each promotion, demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, or other change in position classification with that department, agency, institution, commission, or bureau.
  • Date and general description of the reasons for each promotion with that department, agency, institution, commission or bureau.,
  • Date and type of each dismissal, suspension, or demotion for disciplinary reasons taken by the department, agency, institution, commission, or bureau. If the disciplinary action was a dismissal, a copy of the written notice of the final decision of the head of the department setting forth the specific acts or omissions that are the basis of the dismissal.
  • The office or station to which the employee is currently assigned.
Confidential Information
All employment-related and personal information in an employee’s personnel file not specified under “Records Open for Inspection” is confidential.
Agencies shall maintain in personnel records only information that is relevant to accomplishing personnel administration purposes. Information obtained regarding the medical condition or history of an applicant that is collected by the agency must be maintained in a separate file in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12112).
Required Access to Information
The information listed above shall be made available for inspection and examination and copies thereof made by any persons during regular business hours, subject to the following provisions:

All disclosures of records shall be accounted for by keeping a written record of the following information:  Name of employee, information disclosed, date information requested, name and address of the person to whom the disclosure is made (if the person requesting the information is willing to provide such information).  The information must be retained for a period of two years.  This does not apply to the processing of personnel records or routine credit reference.

  • Upon request, the record of disclosure shall be made available to the employee to whom it pertains.
  • An individual examining a personnel record may copy the information; any available photocopying facilities may be provided and the cost may be assessed to the individual.
  • Any person denied access to any records shall have a right to compel compliance with these provisions by application to a court for a writ of mandamus or other appropriate relief.

Access to information used for personnel actions
Information used in making a determination about employment or other personnel actions should, to the extent practical, be obtained directly from the individual.  There may be instances where it is necessary to obtain information from other sources.  This may be obtained either directly from those sources or by the use of a consumer reporting agency.

If the consumer reporting agency is utilized, the requirement of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Title VI of The Consumer Credit Protection Act (Public Law 91-508) must be followed.<

  • When a consumer reporting agency furnishes a report and employment, promotion, or reassignment is denied on the basis, in whole or in part, of information in the report, the applicant or employee must be informed and given the name and address of the consumer reporting agency.  The appointing authority does not have to reveal the contents of the report.
  • When an investigative consumer report is requested from a consumer reporting agency, the individual must be notified within three days, and told that he/she can make a written request for the “nature and scope” of the investigation.  “Nature and scope” includes a description of the questions asked, disclosure of numbers and types of persons interviewed, and the name and address of the investigating agency.

All information available to certain persons
All information in an employee’s personnel file shall be open for inspection and examination to the following persons:

  • The supervisor of the employee:  for this purpose, supervisor is any individual in the chain of administrative authority above a given State employee within a pertinent State agency.
  • Members of the General Assembly (authority G.S. 120-19).
  • A party by authority of a proper court order.
  • An official of an agency of the Federal government, State government or any political subdivision thereof.  An official is a person who has official or authorized duties in behalf of an agency; it does not imply a necessary level of duty or responsibility.  Such an official may inspect any personnel records when such inspection is deemed by the department head to be necessary and essential to the pursuance of a proper function of said agency; provided, however, that such information shall not be divulged for purposes of assisting in a criminal prosecution or a tax investigation This right to access includes the circumstances where one State agency is considering for employment a person who is or has been employed in another State agency; the head of the latter agency may release to an official of another agency information relative to the employee’s job performance.
  • The employee, or his/her properly authorized agent.  The personnel file may be examined in it entirety except for:
      Letters of reference solicited prior to employment
      Information concerning a medical disability, mental or physical, that a prudent physician would not divulge to a patient.  The medical record may be disclosed to a licensed physician designated in writing by the employee.  When medical information is obtained on any employee, the physician should indicate any information that should not be disclosed to the employee.
  • A party to a quasi-judicial hearing of a State agency, or a State agency which is conducting a quasi-judicial hearing, may have access to relevant material in personnel files and may introduce copies of such material or information based on such material as evidence in the hearing either upon consent of the employee, former employee, or applicant for employment or upon subpoena properly issued by the agency either upon request of a party or on its own motion.

Remedies of employees objecting to material in files
An employee who objects to material in his/her file may place a statement in the file relating to the material to which the employee objects.  An employee may seek the removal of inaccurate or misleading material in his/her personnel file in accordance with the grievance procedure of that agency.

Safeguarding confidential information
In order to insure the security and confidentiality of records, each agency shall establish administrative, technical, and physical controls to protect confidential information from unauthorized access or disclosure.

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