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Can I Refute "Claims" in my Personnel File? California

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  • Can I Refute "Claims" in my Personnel File? California

    At the time of my termination, my ex boss forwarded emails to HR which stated the reasons he was firing me. These were trumped up charges designed to protect him if I ever decided to sue. At the time, I was well aware of why that was being done. I have always been bothered by the fact that I never stood up for myself.

    Does anyone know if I write them now with my side of the story -- refute his claims, one by one -- whether they will add that to my personnel file?

    It's been a year. I know, a long time, but he said things that were not true, and that are now part of my permanent employment history.

    Shortly after termination, I talked to the (outsourced) HR department and they would not let me look at everything in the file, they said they are only required to show certain things (by law). I never followed up to view it because what was the point if I could not see the whole file? They did confirm that my ex employer had forwarded some emails, but said that they would not release those to anyone calling for an employment reference. The person I spoke to was their labor attorney.

    Any thoughts or comments? Do I have the right to 'clean up' my personnel file by stating my side of the story?

    It's bad enough what this company did to me, but I really do not like the fact that they were able to tell their side of the story and that that is the only story that is in my personnel file.

  • #2
    My understanding is that California law requires the employer place any such document in your personnel file (not all state laws do). They were required to let you see anything in the file you had signed. Whether either of these provisions applies to ex-employees as well, I am not certain. Having said that, though, it's been a year. Do you really think this ex-employer is referencing your actual file when, for example, a prospective employer contacts them for references?
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    • #3
      http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Right...onnelFiles.htm
      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

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      • #4
        Thank you for your comments.

        I've thought about this some more and now do not think there is much chance anyone would ever get their hands on those emails. They were sent to the 'outsourced' HR company, for legal protection in the event I ever decided to sue. The personnel file is maintained at the workplace itself, and I have assurances of a decent reference. The in-house HR guy is well aware of my ex-bosses reputation for having a short temper and knee jerk reactions to just about everything.

        The only satisfaction I would get out of stating my version of events is that I know that outsourced HR company would send my statement to my ex boss. By the time he got done reading it, he would know what I thought of him.

        I am going to wait. I do not want to do anything that would jeopardize an employment reference until I am in the 'right' new position, one that offers the right pay and the prospect for stable, longer-term employment.

        Never again will I work for someone who has a 'reputation'. A history of high turnover in any company is a huge red flag.


        Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
        My understanding is that California law requires the employer place any such document in your personnel file (not all state laws do). They were required to let you see anything in the file you had signed. Whether either of these provisions applies to ex-employees as well, I am not certain. Having said that, though, it's been a year. Do you really think this ex-employer is referencing your actual file when, for example, a prospective employer contacts them for references?

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        • #5
          Thank you. It look as though California is doing more than most on behalf of employees. I will review this.

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