San Francisco Employment Lawyer Covers California Wage & Hour Laws using Google Hangout 888.601.6939 – 24/7
In a new Google Hangout, San Francisco Employment Lawyer Eric Grover explains how, under California law, employees have expansive rights to see their personnel files and get copies of certain employment records.
There are many reasons why a current or former employee would want to see their personnel files — especially those that pertain to their, pay, performance or any grievances concerning them. Yet employers will often give many reasons why they cannot get copies or even view these documents. In many cases, the employers are wrong. In fact, in California, employees have quite expansive rights to access personnel files and pay records, even after they have left a job. Viewing files and getting certain copies is a right — and it is the law.
But that law can get complicated, with many rules covering when and how employers must let employees review files and provide copies. In a new Google Hangout, veteran employment lawyer Eric Grover, of the California law firm Keller Grover, discusses both an employee’s rights and the law’s nuances.
In the Hangout, Grover explains that the California laws relating to viewing files and getting copies applies to both current and former employees, and covers records that are used to determine an employee’s qualifications for promotion, additional compensation, or disciplinary action. These include — but are not limited to — employment applications; notices of commendation, warning, or discipline; notices of layoff; performance reviews; and attendance records. California law also specifies what types of documents employers do not have to turn over, such as records relating to the investigation of a possible criminal offense, letters of reference, and records obtained prior to an individual’s employment.
“California law gives employees important rights regarding access to their personnel files and pay records, but there are a lot of details to understand,” says Attorney Eric Grover, whose firm has offices in Los Angeles and the California Bay Area. “As employment lawyers, one of the most important things we do is to help individuals navigate the statutes that empower them — making sure they follow the right procedures and make maximum use of the protections the law affords them.”
For example, under California law, both employees and employers have certain obligations regarding personnel file access. Both current and former employees must submit their requests for inspection in writing, and employers must make the relevant records available within 30 days of receiving a request.
“One point that individuals often don’t know is that an employer is only required to comply with one request per year by a former employee to inspect their personnel records,” says Grover. “On the other hand, some employers may not be aware that they must maintain a copy of an employee’s personnel records for at least three years after that person’s employment ends.”
When the rules are not followed, there are legal recourses employees can take. These, too, are covered in the video — including a $750 penalty employers may be liable for when they fail to turn over relevant personnel records in a timely fashion.
“Our goal in these Google Hangouts is to help California employees not only understand their workplace rights, but how they can use them to be treated and compensated fairly,” says Grover. “There are too many employers who don’t do the right thing by their employees. Fortunately, the law is designed to make sure that they do.”
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