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Aug06

Employee Personnel Files

Our company is based in Ohio. Per your instructions, I’m re-posting this question with the state: Are employees are allowed to have access to their personnel files. If so, are there any specific documents they should not see (reference call notes, etc.)?

There is no specific law in Ohio that requires private employers to grant employees access to their personnel files. Employees of the state, or any county, city, village, township, or school district, have access to their personnel files as public records.

There are two exceptions regarding employees’ medical records and wage and hour records.

Ohio Revised Code 4113.23 grants employees access to their medical records from a physical examination that is required for employment or stemming from a job-related injury or disease. The employer may require the employee to pay the cost of furnishing copies of the medical reports up to twenty-five cents for each page of a report.

Ohio Revised Code 4111.14 provides employees access to their wage and hour records. It requires an employer to provide the following information to an employee or person acting on an employee’s behalf upon request:
1. Name;
2. Home address;
3. Occupation;
4. Pay rate;
5. Each amount paid to the employee; and
6. Hours worked each day.

An employer may require that the request be in writing, signed by the employee, notarized, and that it reasonably specifies the particular information being sought. The employer cannot charge the employee for the information. Following the request, the employer has 30 days to produce the records unless an alternative time period is agreed upon by both parties or the time frame would cause the employer hardship.

Ohio employers may choose to restrict employees’ access to certain information in their files. Such information may include background check results, personal or employment references, information regarding investigations, and information that may violate another individual’s confidentiality such as a complaint.

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