Legal Question in Employment Law in Michigan

Personnel Files

In Michigan, how many different personnel files may be kept by an employer?

Example one: Can Human Resources have one as well my direct supervisor?

Example two: Can an individual employee keep a personnel file on all other employees in a department?

Is there a link on line to a Michigan law that I can refer to for documentation regarding this issue?

Thank you.

Asked on 3/23/06, 9:02 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

William Morrison Action Defense Center

Re: Personnel Files

423.501 Short title; definitions.

Sec. 1.

(1) This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Bullard-Plawecki employee right to know act”.

(2) As used in this act:

(a) “Employee” means a person currently employed or formerly employed by an employer.

(b) “Employer” means an individual, corporation, partnership, labor organization, unincorporated association, the state, or an agency or a political subdivision of the state, or any other legal, business, or commercial entity which has 4 or more employees and includes an agent of the employer.

(c) “Personnel record” means a record kept by the employer that identifies the employee, to the extent that the record is used or has been used, or may affect or be used relative to that employee's qualifications for employment, promotion, transfer, additional compensation, or disciplinary action. A personnel record shall include a record in the possession of a person, corporation, partnership, or other association who has a contractual agreement with the employer to keep or supply a personnel record as provided in this subdivision. A personnel record shall not include:

(i) Employee references supplied to an employer if the identity of the person making the reference would be disclosed.

(ii) Materials relating to the employer's staff planning with respect to more than 1 employee, including salary increases, management bonus plans, promotions, and job assignments.

(iii) Medical reports and records made or obtained by the employer if the records or reports are available to the employee from the doctor or medical facility involved.

(iv) Information of a personal nature about a person other than the employee if disclosure of the information would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of the other person's privacy.

(v) Information that is kept separately from other records and that relates to an investigation by the employer pursuant to section 9.

(vi) Records limited to grievance investigations which are kept separately and are not used for the purposes provided in this subdivision.

(vii) Records maintained by an educational institution which are directly related to a student and are considered to be education records under section 513(a) of title 5 of the family educational rights and privacy act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g.

(viii) Records kept by an executive, administrative, or professional employee that are kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, and are not accessible or shared with other persons. However, a record concerning an occurrence or fact about an employee kept pursuant to this subparagraph may be entered into a personnel record if entered not more than 6 months after the date of the occurrence or the date the fact becomes known.

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Answered on 3/24/06, 3:19 pm

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