Legal Question in Civil Rights Law in California

If I may have signed a contract on the premises of my former workplace (after being told it was a condition of my employment) and it was transferred to a third party that is utilizing an unconscionably broad interpretation of it, but the human resources officials at my former workplace are stating that they have no record of the contract and will not tell me to whom it was transferred, is there a way that I can make someone tell me where the contract is so that I can have its provisions terminated?

Asked on 7/02/12, 12:27 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Justin Sobodash The Law Office of Justin Sobodash

I cannot determine from your question whether you have a contractual or employment relationship with the person or entity that is currently withholding the information. You might be able to employ California statutory provisions which allow employees to demand copies of records in their employee files.

Under California Labor Code section 432, "If an employee or applicant signs any instrument relating to the obtaining or holding of employment, he shall be given a copy of

the instrument upon request"

Under California Labor Code section 1198.5 you generally have a right to inspect your entire employee file:

"(a) Every employee has the right to inspect the personnel

records that the employer maintains relating to the employee's

performance or to any grievance concerning the employee.

(b) The employer shall make the contents of those personnel

records available to the employee at reasonable intervals and at

reasonable times. Except as provided in paragraph (3) of subdivision

(c), the employer shall not be required to make those personnel

records available at a time when the employee is actually required to

render service to the employer.

(c) The employer shall do one of the following:

(1) Keep a copy of each employee's personnel records at the place

where the employee reports to work.

(2) Make the employee's personnel records available at the place

where the employee reports to work within a reasonable period of time

following an employee's request.

(3) Permit the employee to inspect the personnel records at the

location where the employer stores the personnel records, with no

loss of compensation to the employee.

(d) The requirements of this section shall not apply to:

(1) Records relating to the investigation of a possible criminal


(2) Letters of reference.

(3) Ratings, reports, or records that were:

(A) Obtained prior to the employee's employment.

(B) Prepared by identifiable examination committee members.

(C) Obtained in connection with a promotional examination.

(4) Employees who are subject to the Public Safety Officers

Procedural Bill of Rights, Chapter 9.7 (commencing with Section 3300)

of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

(5) Employees of agencies subject to the Information Practices Act

of 1977 (Title 1.8 (commencing with Section 1798) of Part 4 of

Division 3 of the Civil Code).

(e) The Labor Commissioner may adopt regulations that determine

the reasonable times and reasonable intervals for the inspection of

records maintained by an employer that is not a public agency.

(f) If a public agency has established an independent employee

relations board or commission, an employee shall first seek relief

regarding any matter or dispute relating to this section from that

board or commission before pursuing any available judicial remedy.

(g) In enacting this section, it is the intent of the Legislature

to establish minimum standards for the inspection of personnel

records by employees. Nothing in this section shall be construed to

prevent the establishment of additional rules for the inspection of

personnel records that are established as the result of agreements

between an employer and a recognized employee organization."

The foregoing does not constitute legal advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Legal advice must take into account facts and circumstances which are not identified in your question, and should be the result of a give-and-take conversation with an attorney. No attorney-client or other relationship is created by the undersigned responding to the above question.

I wish you the best in resolving this matter.

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Answered on 7/02/12, 10:56 am

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