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3.1.29 Right of Access to Personnel Files


The University shall maintain a complete official personnel file for each employee. These will be retained by Human Resources. The files shall contain only official communications directly related to employment and work performance. Anonymous communications shall not be included in this file.

Access to Personnel Files

Illinois State University shall provide an employee the opportunity to view the file within seven working days following receipt of a written request. If the University can reasonably show that such a deadline cannot be met, the University shall have an additional seven working days to comply. Employees should contact Human Resources for access to their personnel files. Employees also shall have access to additional related files at the Department/School, College, and University levels. Access to files shall be allowed only in the presence of an authorized office employee during regular office hours. Under no circumstance shall an individual have the right to remove the file from the office. After viewing, an employee may obtain copies of the information or documents in the personnel records at their own cost. Upon written request, employees have an unqualified right to examine all written materials which are considered in: 

  1. determining that individual's qualifications for employment,
  2. making recommendations regarding appointment or non-reappointment, promotion, tenure, 
  3. performance-evaluated salary recommendations, 
  4. discharge or other disciplinary action. 

Documents exempt from examination include:

  1. letters of reference,
  2. portions of test documents,
  3. materials used for management planning,
  4. medical records,
  5. records relevant to pending litigation,
  6. transcripts, if so indicated by granting institutions,
  7. placement papers if right to access has been waived,
  8. information of a personal nature about a person other than the employee inspecting a file,
  9. external peer-review documents,
  10. any records alleging criminal activity.

Employees shall be notified at the earliest possible time if their personnel files are subpoenaed in accordance with the law.

Disputed Records

If an employee disagrees with any information contained in the personnel file, removal or correction of that information may be mutually agreed upon by the employee and the University. If an agreement cannot be reached, the employee may submit a written statement explaining their position to Human Resources, which will be attached to the disputed portion of the personnel record. The employee's statement must be included whenever the disputed portion is released to a third party; this does not imply the employer's consent or agreement with the counter-statement.

Basis of Policy

Personnel Record Review Act, 820 ILCS 40, et seq.

Policy Owner: Human Resources 

Contact: Human Resources (309-438-8311)

2023-01-19T12:35:50.118117-08:00 2023