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How to Request Your Personnel File in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts personnel record requires an employer to give access toFiles 1.jpg personnel records to employees and former employees upon written request. This applies to all employers.

However, for employers with 20 or more employees, the law requires that they include particular list of information in the file, which includes:

  • The name, address, date of birth, job title and description
  • Rate of pay (i.e. salary or hourly rate) and any other compensation paid to the employee
  • Starting date of employment
  • The job application of the employee, including resumes or other similar documents submitted in response to the employers advertisement for an open position
  • All performance evaluations
  • Evidence of substandard performance in the workplace, including written warnings
  • Lists of probationary period, waivers signed by the employee, copies of dated termination notices, and any other documents relating to disciplinary action of the employee

Regardless of the size of the company, the employer must respond within five business days of an employee's written request submission. It must provide the employee with a paper copy of her personnel record AND the opportunity to view her records at the place of employment during business hours.

Even if the employee is no longer working, the employer is still required to maintain personnel records. The Massachusetts personnel records prevents employers with more than 20 employees from throwing away or deleting information from the personnel file until three years after the date that the employee separates from the company.

An employer with 20 or more employees must also maintain any portion relevant to a pending administrative or court case, even if that exceeds three years. This means that if an employee brings a claim against his employer for a matter covered under the Wage Act, such as unpaid wages for example, the employer is required to have all documentation from the personnel file relevant to the employee's compensation arrangement.

The request needn't be anything fancy. You can simply write to your current and former employer saying, "I am writing to request my personnel records from my employment with [ABC Company]. Please send a complete copy of my personnel record to my attention at [address] within five days of this letter as specified in M.G.L. c. 149, § 52C."

If you are an employee who thinks he may be being deprived wages or discriminated against, call the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.

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Law Offices of Renee Lazar
4308 Thompson Farm
Bedford, MA 01730
Phone: 978-844-4095
Fax: 781-687-5807
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