Effective October 1, 2013, Connecticut employers will have new obligations under the personnel records law. Employers must:
• Include a statement “in clear and conspicuous language” that the employee may submit a written explanation explaining his or her position in response to any documented disciplinary action, including termination notices, warnings and performance evaluations. The employee’s statement must then be maintained in the personnel file. If the employer then transmits the disciplinary notice to a third party, the statement must also be transmitted at the same time;
• Allow current employees to inspect and/or copy their personnel files no more than seven days after receiving the employee’s written request for inspection or copying;
• Allow former employees to inspect and/or copy their personnel files no more than 10 business days after receiving the former employee’s written request. The request must be received no later than one year after termination of employment;
• Provide employees with a copy of documentation of any disciplinary action imposed on that employee no more than one business day after the discipline is imposed; and
• Provide employees with a copy of any documented notice of termination of employment immediately.
New England states have varying requirements with respect to personnel records and employers with operations in several states will need to be familiar with the differences.
What You Need to Do in Connecticut
Make sure that personnel involved with records understand the time frames for producing files and the documents which have to be transmitted to third parties.
Make sure your discipline forms/termination notices include the notice that the employee may respond in writing to disciplinary actions and explain his/her position.
Language such as “If you disagree with any of the information contained in this document, you may submit a written statement explaining your position. The statement will be kept in your personnel file” should meet the law’s requirement.
If you have any questions about the issues addressed here, contact Lissa J. Paris: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Hugh F. Murray, III: email@example.com