HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 24 PERSONNEL RECORDS POLICY « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Preservation Salvation

California employers must maintain a personnel file and a separate confidential file or files — comprising medical records, private financial records, any applicable equal employment opportunity race, ethnicity and sex identities, and investigative or litigation files — for each employee for at least four years after the employment relationship ends.

Employers should include a handbook policy on maintaining, preserving, protecting, and accessing these documents.

Policy Drafting Tips:

  • Identify the company representative or division that maintains these files;
  • Inform employees when personnel records must be provided to outside third parties, such as in compliance with a subpoena or other court or administrative order; during a workers’ compensation proceeding; or in the administration of a company-sponsored benefit plan;
  • Instruct employees how to request access to their own personnel records; and
  • Ensure employees update their personal information, such as change of legal name, home address, or emergency contact person.


Implement and regularly review a comprehensive, clearly written handbook to include a personnel records policy.

We publish this series to educate employers on best practices for a well-written handbook that assists applicants, employees, and management alike. To purchase our 2023 template handbook – which contains the above policy and much more – and accompanying forms or for more information, please contact Office Manager Aimee Rosales at 626.583.6600 or email her at officemgr@tbowleslaw.com.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
April 27, 2023

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If you are an employer facing possible litigation, or have an employee issue on which you need immediate guidance, call us to set up a consultation, or submit your message.

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