Policy # 6.0 Archived Version:
Staff Employee Files

Revision date of this archived policy:
April 1, 1990

Note: This is not a current version of the policy. View current version. »

6.1 Policy
  The University maintains a personnel file on each staff employee for the purpose of review as appropriate. The University takes all appropriate steps to protect the privacy of personal information contained in personnel files. The President designates the Official Records Custodian.
  6.1.1 An official personnel file for all active staff employees will be retained within the sectors, vice presidential areas or Central Administration, as appropriate.
    6.1.1.1 Copies of documents may also be on file for a current employee within the department in which the staff employee works.
    6.1.1.2 Files on personnel employed in the Student and Temporary Employee Placement Service (STEPS) are also maintained for an employee within that program in the Student and Temporary Employee Placement Service (STEPS) Office. (See Human Resources Policy and Procedure Number 17.0: Student and Temporary Employee Placement Service).
    6.1.1.3 Files on personnel are also maintained for unemployment compensation purposes in the Lexington Campus Personnel Office, Unemployment Insurance Division.
    6.1.1.4 Files on personnel are also maintained in the Staff Benefits Office.
    6.1.1.5 Other documents regarding a staff employee may be maintained or retained in appropriate locations.
NOTE: The Lexington Campus Records Office is designated as the official custodian of files of separated employees. Documents regarding staff employees, which are maintained in locations other than the Lexington Campus Records Office, shall be forwarded to the Lexington Campus Records Office following separation from staff employment.
  6.1.2 The types of documents maintained and retained in the personnel files may include:
    a. Application for Staff Employment;
    b. Resumes or Curriculum Vitae;
    c. Payroll Authorization Records (PAR):
    d. Vacation and temporary disability records (which should be forwarded by the department as completed or upon separation);
    e. Faculty-Staff Information Sheets;
    f. Performance Evaluations;
    g. Disciplinary Records, Consultation Reports and other related documentation;
    h. Appropriate insurance, retirement and other benefits information;
    i. Employee Separation Sheet; and
    j. Diplomas, certificates, training records, and related personal accomplishment documentation which may be submitted.
  6.1.3 Internal access to the official personnel file maintained in the sector records/personnel offices is subject to the following guidelines:
    6.1.3.1 A staff employee, after verification of the employee’s identity, may review any recorded information pertaining to the employee contained in the official personnel file except for any confidentially solicited recommendation(s).
      6.1.3.1.1 A properly identified and authorized representative of a staff employee may review any recorded information pertaining to the employee contained in the official personnel file except for any confidentially solicited recommendation(s).
      6.1.3.1.2 If the staff employee or the employee’s representative wishes to copy any recorded information in the employee’s official personnel file, a request for copies shall be in writing and shall be directed to the sector chief personnel officer or the Administrator for Personnel Policy and Procedures, as appropriate. A reasonable charge may be made for copies.
    6.1.3.2 Staff members of each of the three personnel offices and the Office of the Administrator for Personnel Policy and Procedures are specifically authorized to request, receive, and review for official purpose a personnel file.
    6.1.3.3 Department heads and other University officials may request and review an individual personnel record file provided there is an official University need for such access. (See 6.3.3.1 of this policy.)
    6.1.3.4 Student employee personnel files are maintained in appropriate locations, as designated by the chancellors or the vice presidents, as appropriate.
    6.1.3.5 Nothing in this policy shall be construed to prohibit a University supervisor from releasing information/data on an employee to a supervisor in an area where the supervised employee has applied for transfer. Any released information/data shall be from documented facts or shall be offered as the opinion of the writer/speaker.
  6.1.4 External access to official personnel files of personally identifiable information or other employment related data/information about an individual without specific written authorization is subject to the following guidelines:
    6.1.4.1 Any and all requests for verification of past University employment shall be directed to the Lexington Campus Employee Records Office. All requests for verification of present employment shall be directed to the appropriate sector records/personnel office. These records/personnel offices release "directory information" about a staff employee without authorization from the individual employee. Directory information includes the fact of past or present employment, verification of dates of employment and position or title.
      6.1.4.1.1 A University employee is specifically prohibited from releasing any information (except as authorized in this policy) about another employee without a written authorization.
      6.1.4.1.2 Nothing in this policy shall be construed as a prohibition against a letter of recommendation or other employment related data/information being released upon the signed authorization of a present or former University employee.
      6.1.4.1.3 Such letters concerning a University employee (past or present) shall be based on documented facts or shall be stated as the opinion of the writer of the letter. A copy of such an authorization document shall be attached to any documented release of employment related data/ information.
NOTE: An employee should be aware that violations of this policy may result in the personal liability of an employee in a civil lawsuit.
      6.1.4.2 An employee’s employing unit, campus address, and campus and home telephone numbers may be made available through campus telephone directory information.
      6.1.4.3 Other external access to official personnel files shall be authorized only by the Official Records Custodian. The Official Record scustodian normally provides access to personnel records under the following circumstances:
        6.1.4.3.1 To protect the legal interests of the University when the Official Records Custodian believes actions of an employee, or former employee, violate(d) the condition of employment or otherwise threaten injury to University interest(s), University property, or to others.
        6.1.4.3.2 To a law enforcement authority when the Official Records Custodian believes that an applicant, employee, or former employee may have engaged in illegal activities.
        6.1.4.3.3 In response to a request by a properly identified law enforcement authority to provide an individual’s dates of attendance at work and home address.
        6.1.4.3.4 Pursuant to a federal, state or local government statute or regulation that specifically requires disclosure of certain information to certain parties.
        6.1.4.3.5 In response to a lawfully issued administrative summons or judicial order, including a search warrant or subpoena.
          6.1.4.3.5.1 A subpoena or other legal process for the production of the personnel file shall be reviewed by the University Office of Legal Counsel prior to release of the information.
        6.1.4.3.6 In compelling circumstances affecting the immediate health or safety of the individual.
  6.1.5 An employee has the right to request correction or amendment of any personally identifiable information contained in the employee’s personnel file. If the employee is or should be aware that this information is in the file, the request for correction or amendment shall be made within sixty (60) days from the date the information was put in the file. If the employee is unaware the information is in the file and only discovers such information upon review of the personnel file, the request for correction or amendment shall be made within thirty (30) days of the review.
    6.1.5.1 The request for correction or amendment shall be submitted in writing to the sector chief personnel officer, or the Administrator for Personnel Policy and Procedures in case of an employee of the Central Administration, and shall state (a) the exact correction or amendment which the employee wishes to make and (b) the reason why such correction or amendment should be made.
    6.1.5.2 The appropriate sector chief personnel officer or the Administrator for Personnel Policy and Procedures shall review the employee’s request, ascertain the facts surrounding the request, and then determine whether the correction or amendment shall be made.
    6.1.5.3 If the sector chief personnel officer or the Administrator for Personnel Policy and Procedures decides that the request for correction or amendment is appropriate, that official shall instruct that the appropriate correction or amendment be made.
    6.1.5.4 If the sector chief personnel officer or the Administrator for Personnel Policy and Procedures decides that no correction or amendment is appropriate, that official shall render the decision in writing. This decision, along with the employee’s request for correction or amendment shall be placed in the employee’s file.
      6.1.5.4.1 When an employee is not satisfied with the decision, the employee may appeal within ten (10) working days (Saturdays and Sundays excluded) after receipt of the previous decision in writing to the chancellor, or vice president, as appropriate, or to a properly delegated official, whose decision shall be final.
    6.1.5.5 The University shall make a reasonable effort to inform anyone who has reviewed the employee’s file within the past tow (2) years of a correction or amendment when such is made.
    6.1.5.6 In the case of disclosure of personnel file information that is the subject of a dispute, the University shall make a reasonable attempt to furnish to the requesting party a copy of any documentation which indicates a dispute.
  6.1.6 Information which is a matter of public record elsewhere, e.g., statistics as reflected in the official minutes of meetings of the Board of Trustees, shall be considered as public information. The University shall not, however, relinquish its right to limit access to its files on a "need-to-know" basis, even though such information may be public information, i.e., administrative files are not a library source for the curious. At the discretion of the appropriate University official or the Official Records Custodian, however, public information contained in the personnel files may be released on the request of other agencies or at the discretion of the University officials.
6.2 Delegation
  The Official Records Custodian for the University of Kentucky authorizes the appropriate deans, directors, and department heads to maintain and/or retain the documents and/or personnel files as stipulated within this policy.
6.3 Procedure
  6.3.1 A request, or legal process, for access to a personnel file which requires the authorization of the Official Records custodian shall be submitted in writing.
  6.3.2 Approval of the request shall be issued in writing for purposes of access to the personnel file in appropriate locations, as designated by the chancellor or the vice president, as appropriate.
  6.3.3 Appropriate personnel files shall be accessible to authorized personnel upon request.
    6.3.3.1 Each chancellor and vice president are responsible for maintainingan internal access list of University officials who are authorized to receive and review the personnel files.
  6.3.4 Department heads maintaining employee document files are responsible for ensuring a proper need or a right to know in allowing review of such files.

Archived Versions of this Policy

Previous version: revised 04-01-2006
Previous version: revised 07-11-2002
Previous version: revised 04-01-1990