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fit_to_print
07-16-2010, 10:14 PM
I have requested access to my time card records from my former employer and am being told I do not have permission to copy them, only to view them. I believe the law states that I am permitted to make copies, yet my employer states these are company property and therefore I am not permitted to copy these. I am told I can review them and take notes while the HR person is with me. What does the law actually entitle me to do?

Betty3
07-17-2010, 12:31 AM
Employers are required to permit current and former employees to inspect or copy payroll records pertaining to that current or former employee. Labor Code Section 226(b) Effective January 1, 2003, an employer who receives a written or oral request from a current or former employee to inspect or copy his or her payroll records shall comply with the request as soon as practicable, but no later than 21 calendar days from the date of the request. A failure by an employer to permit a current or former employee to inspect or copy his or her payroll records within the aforementioned 21 calendar day period entitles the current or former employee to recover a penalty from the employer in a civil action before a court of competent jurisdiction.

http://www.dir.ca.gov:80/dlse/FAQ_RightToInspectPersonnelFiles.htm

fit_to_print
07-17-2010, 10:07 AM
Thanks for the reply. That is actually the exact text I used when asking but was told since the time card punches are 'company property' I can't take them off premises or make copies. I'm not sure where there would be any specific wording that classified these as not part of my payroll file. Any advice on how to challenge the question? Or should I just bring in paper and make exact copies by hand and then follow up with filing a claim (I'm planning on doing this anyway).

Thanks again.

CarynG
07-17-2010, 11:04 AM
Why would you have to take them off property to copy them? They don't have a copy machine?

fit_to_print
07-17-2010, 11:32 AM
I don't need to take them off property and they do have a copy machine. I even offered to bring my own paper. Here's are the exact quotes from two separate emails:

I did want to clarify, however. As I mentioned before, you may inspect your historical data on-site, but I cant allow you to make copies or allow you to take it with you. The documents you will be viewing are company property and therefore, I am unable to release them.

As far as the Kronos reports are concerned, these would be reports that have been run from your time clock punches. And yes, these are company property and as such, I am not able to release them or allow you to copy them. I am happy to sit with you while you view them and take notes as necessary.

I am sure there is hesitation about letting me have access to these files as for at least 50 shifts I did not take lunch until 7+ hours into a 10 hour shift, and the time clock miscalculated overtime for 9 months. The overtime was eventually paid back after I left the company (but not for 3 months after, another violation) but I still need to check to see if I caught all the miscalculations as well as report the meal break violations. I think this is why I am not being allowed to copy these files because I don't see why else I wouldn't be allowed to copy them. It's come down to a semantics game of 'payroll documents' vs 'time card documents' where the time cards aren't part of payroll documents I have copy rights to.

DAW
07-17-2010, 01:28 PM
You might want to read the following factsheet in it's entirity and make sure that you understand exactly what the law does and does not require. I have worked for employers who basically printed out this factsheet and would do exactly what the factsheet said. No more. No less. With the (correct) expectation that CA-DLSE would later back the employer's actions.

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_RightToInspectPersonnelFiles.htm


8. Q. Is my employer required to give me a copy of my personnel file?

A. No. Your employer is not required to provide you with a copy of your entire personnel file. However, the law does require that upon request you be given a copy of any instrument you signed relating to the obtaining or holding of employment. Additionally, the taking of notes regarding any document in your personnel file is permitted.


The CA-DLSE manual also discusses the rules in more detail.
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Manual-Instructions.htm

fit_to_print
07-17-2010, 01:39 PM
I understand that the employer has to give me (as in make copies) of all documents I have signed, and that they are NOT required to make me copies of my payroll documents. However, the Labor Code states that I am allowed to make copies of my payroll records which I would assume time card records fall into. Is there any specific section stating that time cards are NOT payroll records?

Employers are required to permit current and former employees to inspect or copy payroll records pertaining to that current or former employee. Labor Code Section 226(b) Effective January 1, 2003, an employer who receives a written or oral request from a current or former employee to inspect or copy his or her payroll records shall comply with the request as soon as practicable, but no later than 21 calendar days from the date of the request. A failure by an employer to permit a current or former employee to inspect or copy his or her payroll records within the aforementioned 21 calendar day period entitles the current or former employee to recover a penalty from the employer in a civil action before a court of competent jurisdiction. Labor Code Section 226, subdivisions (c) and (f)

DAW
07-17-2010, 04:17 PM
No, the same way there is no actual law saying that time cards are not DMV records. However making a claim that because the law does not specifically say that you are wrong must mean that you are right is not an inherently strong argument. Because the employer can make exactly the converse argument, that because the law does not specifically say that you must have copies of time cards (and the law could have easily said this), that the law does not mean for you to get copies. These kind of logic arguments can be spun continually without every coming to a solution.

I would agree that time accounting records are indeed payroll records. It is not a bad argument. But at the end of the day the only party's opinion that matters is CA-DLSE. And the law does not actually mention "payroll records" per se. The records access law very clearly is framed in terms of access to "personnel records". And the actual law on time accounting records does not talk about employee access, just CA-DLSE access.

You could always try to get something in writing from CA-DLSE specifically addressing your issue.

knowitall
08-12-2010, 07:29 PM
Why do you need them? If you filed with the labor board they can ask for them. They can also ask your employer to make copies for you. If the employer doesn't supply these at the meeting and your case goes to a hearing, they can subpoena the records. Either way if you filed or not you can request copies of ANY signed document.

knowitall
11-18-2010, 12:35 PM
In regards to your post..
"I did this request by email. Is this accepted as written? If I have to do it verbally, would voice mail be acceptable as verbal? "

Yes this is acceptable.

Employers are required to permit current and former employees to inspect or copy payroll records pertaining to that current or former employee. Labor Code Section 226(b) Effective January 1, 2003, an employer who receives a written or oral request from a current or former employee to inspect or copy his or her payroll records shall comply with the request as soon as practicable, but no later than 21 calendar days from the date of the request. A failure by an employer to permit a current or former employee to inspect or copy his or her payroll records within the aforementioned 21 calendar day period entitles the current or former employee to recover a penalty from the employer in a civil action before a court of competent jurisdiction. Labor Code Section 226, subdivisions (c) and (f)

It is true that if you filed with the Labor board they can subpoena records such as time cards etc.

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