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Personnel Files Procedure - 63.06.04

College Policy Number/Title:

At Howard Community College, the only documents included in an employee's personnel file include:

  • Application for college employment.
  • Employee data sheet.
  • Updates of employee information.
  • Resume of prior experience and education.
  • Letters of reference furnished to the college at the time of the employee's initial employment.
  • Academic transcripts (if applicable).
  • Certificates of occupational competency (if applicable).
  • Documents related to routine personnel actions such as benefits and leave.
  • Correspondence between the college and the employee marked by the originator for inclusion in the personnel file. The originator is the person who wrote the document and would be one of the following: the associate vice president of human resources or designee, the employee's supervisor, or others in the designated chain of command.
  • Performance evaluations.
  • Reports of supervisory conferences addressed to the employee and originated by the supervisor.
  • Appropriate and relevant documents related to employment history and performance such as contracts, compensation agreements, promotion, transfer, letters or other documents of commendation, disciplinary action, professional development record, and termination.

An employee’s personnel file will not contain medical records, such as pre-employment physicals and documents certifying medical conditions and disabilities. Medical records are kept in a file separate from the personnel file.

Employee's Personnel File Management

An employee's personnel file will be available to the employee for examination in the office of human resources with reasonable notice and during normal business hours; a human resources staff member will be present during the examination. The employee may elect to be accompanied by a third party at the time of file examination. Upon the employee's written request, the file may be made available to standing committees or other individuals of the college. Reference letters and other reference paperwork obtained at the time of initial employment will not be available for review by the employee.

Single copies of documents in the personnel file are available to the employee upon request, and with reasonable notice. Multiple copies of documents or a copy of the complete file is available upon request and at the employee's expense. Copies of reference letters furnished to the college at the time of initial employment are excluded from this provision.

Employees who feel that irrelevant or unjustified materials have been included in their personnel files may submit a written objection with a petition to the associate vice president of human resources for the removal of such material. If agreement cannot be reached, the employee may pursue an appeal process as specified in college policy 63.13, Employee Dispute Resolution and procedures 63.13.01, Faculty Dispute Resolution  and 63.13.02, Non-Faculty Dispute Resolution.

An employee does not have the authority to add items to the employee's personnel file; it is the property of the college and its contents are at the discretion of the college. Only those in the employee's supervisory chain of command or human resources can add items. Originators wanting to update or add information to a personnel file will forward the materials to the associate vice president of human resources or designee for inclusion in the file providing the information meets the requirements of the contents described above. Anonymous correspondence will not be included in an employee's personnel file.

An employee's personnel file will be available for inspection in the office of human resources to the employee's supervisor and others in the designated supervisory chain of command as well as the college attorney, president or authorized designee, the board of trustees and employees of the office of human resources. With permission of the employee or under court order, access to personnel files is available to authorized individuals or agencies outside the college.

Effective Date: 02/08/19

President's Office Use:  VPAF

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