Records Open to Employees
A past or present employee has the right to view and copy their personnel records at least two times each calendar year. Upon request, the employer then has seven (7) working days to provide the employee with an opportunity to inspect the documents. The employer may ask that an employee make these requests in writing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of records are considered personnel records?
The right to inspect "personnel documents" extends to documents which are used, or which have been used, to determine qualifications for employment, promotion, transfer, additional compensation, termination or other disciplinary action, and medical records.
Can the employer charge for copies?
If an employee wishes to have a copy of the records, the employer may charge a reasonable fee for providing such copies, which may not exceed the actual cost of reproduction.
What exceptions are there to the requirements of the Open Personnel Records Law?
The right of the employee to inspect (or have copies of) his or her personnel records does not apply to:
- Records relating to the investigation of possible criminal offenses committed by that employee;
- Letters of reference for that employee;
- Any portion of a test document, except that the employee may see a cumulative total test score for either a section of the test document or for the entire document;
- Materials used for staff management planning (projections);
- Information of a personal nature about a person other than the employee if disclosure would constitute an invasion of that other person’s privacy;
- Records that are not kept;
- Records relevant to any other pending claim between the employer and the employee that may be discovered in a judicial proceeding.
How can an employee act to correct inaccuracies in the personnel records?
If an employee disagrees with any information contained in the records, the employer and employee may agree to correct or remove the information. If agreement cannot be reached, the employee may submit a written statement explaining his or her position. The employer is required to attach this statement to the disputed item, and release it whenever that disputed item is released to a third party.
Can someone other than the employee view and inspect the records?
If an employee is involved in a current grievance against an employer, the employee may have his or her union representative, or any other designated person, inspect those records that may have a bearing on the resolution of the grievance.
For More Information
- Chapter 103.13, Wisconsin Statutes
- Contact Info
- Complaint Process ( English | Spanish )
- File a Complaint with the DWD Labor Standards Bureau