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Inspection / Reproduction of Personnel Documents California

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  • Inspection / Reproduction of Personnel Documents California

    The law states -
    "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)

    If an employer supplies an employee with the records to look at and take notes on, can they deny the employee the right to photograph the documents?

    Assume the none of the company's equipment or materials can be used to reproduce the documents.

  • #2
    I'm very new to HR, so what I say may not be an experienced interpretation.

    If the LAW states that employers are REQUIRED to furnish payroll records to current or former employees, then why wouldn't you?

    My take: I'd copy all the relevent material, have the requesting party sign off that they recieved the copies of said material, (either by signing a form in my office or sending it certificed return reciept mail), and be done with it.

    The law states you are required to provide copies. Denying use of office resources to provide those copies is extreamly obstrutive of the law. Also, it would mean you might have to release the orginal documents for the employee to copy elsewhere AND I WOULD NOT PERSONALLY LET THE EMPLOYEE TAKE ORGINAL DOCUMENTS OUT OF MY OFFICE.


    • #3
      I am including a pointer to the related CA-DLSE factsheet on the subject. I will cite the most relevant section, but the OP should really read the entire document.

      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.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


      • #4
        Ca. Labor code 226

        226. (a) Every employer shall, semimonthly or at the time of each
        payment of wages, furnish each of his or her employees, either as a
        detachable part of the check, draft, or voucher paying the employee's
        wages, or separately when wages are paid by personal check or cash,
        an accurate itemized statement in writing showing (1) gross wages
        earned, (2) total hours worked by the employee, except for any
        employee whose compensation is solely based on a salary and who is
        exempt from payment of overtime under subdivision (a) of Section 515
        or any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission, (3) the
        number of piece-rate units earned and any applicable piece rate if
        the employee is paid on a piece-rate basis, (4) all deductions,
        provided that all deductions made on written orders of the employee
        may be aggregated and shown as one item, (5) net wages earned, (6)
        the inclusive dates of the period for which the employee is paid, (7)
        the name of the employee and his or her social security number,
        except that by January 1, 2008, only the last four digits of his or
        her social security number or an employee identification number other
        than a social security number may be shown on the itemized
        statement, (8) the name and address of the legal entity that is the
        employer, and (9) all applicable hourly rates in effect during the
        pay period and the corresponding number of hours worked at each
        hourly rate by the employee. The deductions made from payments of
        wages shall be recorded in ink or other indelible form, properly
        dated, showing the month, day, and year, and a copy of the statement
        or a record of the deductions shall be kept on file by the employer
        for at least three years at the place of employment or at a central
        location within the State of California.
        (b) An employer that is required by this code or any regulation
        adopted pursuant to this code to keep the information required by
        subdivision (a) shall afford current and former employees the right
        to inspect or copy the records pertaining to that current or former
        employee, upon reasonable request to the employer. The employer may
        take reasonable steps to assure the identity of a current or former
        employee. If the employer provides copies of the records, the actual
        cost of reproduction may be charged to the current or former
        (c) An employer who receives a written or oral request to inspect
        or copy records pursuant to subdivision (b) pertaining to a current
        or former employee shall comply with the request as soon as
        practicable, but no later than 21 calendar days from the date of the
        request. A violation of this subdivision is an infraction.
        Impossibility of performance, not caused by or a result of a
        violation of law, shall be an affirmative defense for an employer in
        any action alleging a violation of this subdivision. An employer may
        designate the person to whom a request under this subdivision will be
        (d) This section does not apply to any employer of any person
        employed by the owner or occupant of a residential dwelling whose
        duties are incidental to the ownership, maintenance, or use of the
        dwelling, including the care and supervision of children, or whose
        duties are personal and not in the course of the trade, business,
        profession, or occupation of the owner or occupant.
        (e) An employee suffering injury as a result of a knowing and
        intentional failure by an employer to comply with subdivision (a) is
        entitled to recover the greater of all actual damages or fifty
        dollars ($50) for the initial pay period in which a violation occurs
        and one hundred dollars ($100) per employee for each violation in a
        subsequent pay period, not exceeding an aggregate penalty of four
        thousand dollars ($4,000), and is entitled to an award of costs and
        reasonable attorney's fees.
        (f) A failure by an employer to permit a current or former
        employee to inspect or copy records within the time set forth in
        subdivision (c) entitles the current or former employee or the Labor
        Commissioner to recover a seven-hundred-fifty-dollar ($750) penalty
        from the employer.
        (g) An employee may also bring an action for injunctive relief to
        ensure compliance with this section, and is entitled to an award of
        costs and reasonable attorney's fees.
        (h) This section does not apply to the state, to any city, county,
        city and county, district, or to any other governmental entity,
        except that if the state or a city, county, city and county,
        district, or other governmental entity furnishes its employees with a
        check, draft, or voucher paying the employee's wages, the state or a
        city, county, city and county, district, or other governmental
        entity shall, by January 1, 2008, use no more than the last four
        digits of the employee's social security number or shall use an
        employee identification number other than the social security number
        on the itemized statement provided with the check, draft, or voucher.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


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