Q & A – Should current employees have access to individual employee personnel files?

Q: Should current employees have access to individual employee personnel files?

A: This is governed by state law and some states require private and public employers to grant access to personnel files to current and even former employees.

In Colorado as of January 1, 2017, private sector employees and former employees have a legal right to access their personnel files under specific conditions.  Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming private sector employers can treat personnel records as organization property. There is no law requiring private employers to provide access to employees in these states; however, it is a common practice for organizations to allow employees to review their own personnel files in the presence of HR or other management staff.

Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming have state laws allowing public sector employees or their representatives access to personnel files. Colorado public employers must follow the Colorado Open Records Act. Employees and their supervisors have a right to have access certain documents within their files. Colorado public employers should visit FYI Colorado Open Records Act – Overview.​