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Personnel File

How do I view my personnel file?

University employees files are considered public records. Absent an expressly applicable exception, such as medical records and student education records, nearly all of the records in a personnel file are a public record. However, social security numbers are protected from disclosure and should be redacted before the public records are released. Upon written request to the university, an employee may review his or her personnel file and make photocopies of the documents contained therein. Further questions about personnel files should be directed to University Counsel at (330) 672-2982 or Human Resource Records at (330) 672-8316.

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Ohio public records law can be found in Ohio Revised Code Section 149.43. The law declares that all public records shall be made available for inspection. As a public institution, Kent State University is subject to Ohio public records law. Consequently, any individual or organization has the right to inspect and/or receive copies of public records maintained by the university.

What should I do if I receive a public records request for documents?

If you receive a request for documents, regardless of whether the request specifically cites the public records law, you should immediately contact University Counsel at (330) 672-2982. Do not delay in contacting University Counsel after receiving a request for documents. Do not begin searching for or copying documents before talking to University Counsel.

What is the definition of Personnel Record?

Generally, university employee personnel files are considered public records. Absent an expressly applicable exception, such as medical records and student education records, nearly all of the records in a personnel file are a public record. However, social security numbers are protected from disclosure and should be redacted before the public records are released.

Can anyone obtain a copy of my personnel file by making a public records request?

Individuals may inspect public records without cost. A university employee should be present when the public inspects the records. A reasonable copying fee (including pre-paying) may be charged to the individual requesting copies of the public record. Additionally, the public records act does not require the public office to make the copies.

Is an employee entitled to review his/her personnel file?

Yes. Upon written request to the university, an employee may review his or her personnel file and make photocopies of the documents contained therein.

Is the location of personnel documents relevant in determining whether they need to be disclosed when someone requests their "personnel file"?

No. The term personnel record is defined by law as explained above. We cannot exempt a document from disclosure merely by not placing it in a person's department or central university personnel file. If a document falls within the definition of "personnel record," which is quite broad, then it must be disclosed to the employee upon request, regardless of its physical location. Further questions about personnel files should be directed to University Counsel at (330) 672-2982 and Human Resource Records at (330) 672-8316.