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Pa. Supreme Court: Former Employees Can’t View Their Personnel Files

Published on

July 18, 2017

Employers now can be confident in denying requests from former employees to inspect their personnel file after a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court holding.

In a recent case, an employer denied a request from a former employee to view her personnel file a week after she was fired. On appeal, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania permitted the employee to view her personnel file because its interpretation of the Personnel Files Act allowed terminated employees to inspect their personnel files in a reasonable amount of time. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court disagreed on June 20 because people no longer with a company are not “currently employed.”

The Personnel Files Act allows employees to inspect their personnel files under certain conditions. An employee is “any person currently employed, laid off with reemployment rights or on leave of absence.” It does not include applicants for a position.

Anyone with any questions on this court decision or its ramifications on employment records should contact Michael Crocenzi at or any of the attorneys in the Barley Snyder Employment Practice Group.

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