CHAPTER 563a*
PERSONNEL FILES

      *Personnel files act cited. 201 C. 421. Personnel files act does not preclude application of a qualified privilege to statements made in an employment reference. 284 C. 35.

Table of Contents

Sec. 31-128a. Definitions.
Sec. 31-128b. Employee access to personnel files.
Sec. 31-128c. Employee access to medical records. Employer's duties re maintaining medical records.
Sec. 31-128d. Employer's right to retain files on premises.
Sec. 31-128e. Removal or correction of information. Employee's explanatory statement.
Sec. 31-128f. Employee's consent required for disclosure.
Sec. 31-128g. Employee's right to obtain copies.
Sec. 31-128h. Frequency of inspection.
Sec. 31-128i. Employee's consent required for disclosure of participation in employee assistance program.
Sec. 31-128j. Labor Commissioner's subpoena powers.

      Sec. 31-128a. Definitions. As used in this chapter:

      (1) "Employee" means any individual currently employed or formerly employed by an employer and includes individuals in managerial positions;

      (2) "Employee assistance program" means a program sponsored or authorized by an employer, intended to assist employees in identifying and resolving personal concerns including, but not limited to, health, marital, family, financial, alcohol, drug, gambling, legal, emotional, stress or other personal issues that may affect job performance;

      (3) "Employee assistance professional" means any person who is required by job description or employment contract to provide services pursuant to an employee assistance program;

      (4) "Employer" means an individual, corporation, partnership or unincorporated association;

      (5) "Personnel file" means papers, documents and reports, including electronic mail and facsimiles, pertaining to a particular employee that are used or have been used by an employer to determine such employee's eligibility for employment, promotion, additional compensation, transfer, termination, disciplinary or other adverse personnel action including employee evaluations or reports relating to such employee's character, credit and work habits. "Personnel file" does not mean stock option or management bonus plan records, medical records, letters of reference or recommendations from third parties including former employers, materials that are used by the employer to plan for future operations, information contained in separately maintained security files, test information, the disclosure of which would invalidate the test, or documents which are being developed or prepared for use in civil, criminal or grievance procedures;

      (6) "Medical records" means all papers, documents and reports prepared by a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist that are in the possession of an employer and are work-related or upon which such employer relies to make any employment-related decision;

      (7) "Security files" means memoranda, documents or collections of information relating to investigations of losses, misconduct or suspected crimes, and investigative information maintained pursuant to government requirements, provided such memoranda, documents, or information are maintained separately and not used to determine an employee's eligibility for employment, promotion, additional compensation, transfer, termination, disciplinary or other adverse personnel action.

      (P.A. 79-264, S. 1, 9; P.A. 80-158, S. 1, 6, 7; P.A. 03-5, S. 1; 03-187, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 80-158 redefined "employee" to specify current employment, redefined "personnel file" to delete words "formal or informal" describing employee evaluations, to delete provision excluding records which relate to "an investigation, arrest or conviction of conduct which constitutes a violation of state or federal criminal laws" and to specify exclusion of stock option or management bonus plan records, materials used in planning future operations, information contained in separate security files and test information and added Subdiv. (5) defining "security files" and changed effective date of P.A. 79-264, S. 1 from January 1, 1981, to July 1, 1980; P.A. 03-5 amended Subdiv. (3) by extending the definition of "personnel file" to electronic mail and facsimiles and making technical changes; P.A. 03-187 added new Subdivs. (2) and (3) defining "employee assistance program" and "employee assistance professional" and redesignated existing Subdivs. (2) to (5) as new Subdivs. (4) to (7).

      Subdiv. (2):

      Cited. 201 C. 421.


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      Sec. 31-128b. Employee access to personnel files. Each employer shall, within a reasonable time after receipt of a written request from an employee, permit such employee to inspect his personnel file if such a file exists. Such inspection shall take place during regular business hours at a location at or reasonably near the employee's place of employment. Each employer who has personnel files shall be required to keep any personnel file pertaining to a particular employee for at least one year after the termination of such employee's employment.

      (P.A. 79-264, S. 2, 9; P.A. 80-158, S. 2, 6, 7.)

      History: P.A. 79-264 effective January 1, 1981; P.A. 80-158 required that inspection take place at or near the employee's place of employment rather than "at the place where such file is kept".

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      Sec. 31-128c. Employee access to medical records. Employer's duties re maintaining medical records. Each employer shall, within a reasonable time after receipt of a written request from an employee, permit an inspection of medical records pertaining to such employee which may be in such employer's possession. Such inspection shall take place during regular business hours at a location at or reasonably near the employee's place of employment and shall be made by a physician chosen by such employee or by a physician chosen by the employer with such employee's consent. Each employer that has medical records shall be required to keep any medical records pertaining to a particular employee for at least three years following termination of employment. Medical records, if kept by an employer, shall be kept separately and not as part of any personnel file.

      (P.A. 79-264, S. 3, 9; P.A. 80-158, S. 3, 6, 7; P.A. 99-284, S. 36, 60; P.A. 01-55.)

      History: P.A. 79-264 effective January 1, 1981; P.A. 80-158 required that inspection take place at or near employee's place of employment rather than "at the place where such record is kept"; P.A. 99-284 changed "may" to "shall" re keeping medical records separately, effective July 1, 2000; P.A. 01-55 required the retention of medical records of an employee to be increased from one year to three years following the employee's termination and made a technical change.

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      Sec. 31-128d. Employer's right to retain files on premises. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as a requirement that an employee or his physician be permitted to remove his personnel file or medical records or any part of such file or records from the place on the employer's premises where it is made available for inspection. Each employer shall retain the right to protect his files and records from loss, damage or alteration to insure their integrity. Each employer may require that inspection of any personnel file or medical records take place in the presence of a designated official.

      (P.A. 79-264, S. 4, 9; P.A. 80-158, S. 4, 6, 7.)

      History: P.A. 79-264 effective January 1, 1981; P.A. 80-158 added references to inspection of medical files and to inspections by employee's physician.

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      Sec. 31-128e. Removal or correction of information. Employee's explanatory statement. If upon inspection of his personnel file or medical records an employee disagrees with any of the information contained in such file or records, removal or correction of such information may be agreed upon by such employee and his employer. If such employee and employer cannot agree upon such removal or correction then such employee may submit a written statement explaining his position. Such statement shall be maintained as part of such employee's personnel file or medical records and shall accompany any transmittal or disclosure from such file or records made to a third party.

      (P.A. 79-264, S. 5, 9; P.A. 80-158, S. 6, 7.)

      History: P.A. 79-264 effective January 1, 1981; P.A. 80-158 changed effective date to July 1, 1980.

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      Sec. 31-128f. Employee's consent required for disclosure. No individually identifiable information contained in the personnel file or medical records of any employee shall be disclosed by an employer to any person or entity not employed by or affiliated with the employer without the written authorization of such employee except where the information is limited to the verification of dates of employment and the employee's title or position and wage or salary or where the disclosure is made: (1) To a third party that maintains or prepares employment records or performs other employment-related services for the employer; (2) pursuant to a lawfully issued administrative summons or judicial order, including a search warrant or subpoena, or in response to a government audit or the investigation or defense of personnel-related complaints against the employer; (3) pursuant to a request by a law enforcement agency for an employee's home address and dates of his attendance at work; (4) in response to an apparent medical emergency or to apprise the employee's physician of a medical condition of which the employee may not be aware; (5) to comply with federal, state or local laws or regulations; or (6) where the information is disseminated pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. Where such authorization involves medical records the employer shall inform the concerned employee of his or his physician's right of inspection and correction, his right to withhold authorization, and the effect of any withholding of such authorization upon such employee.

      (P.A. 79-264, S. 6, 9; P.A. 80-158, S. 5-7.)

      History: P.A. 79-264 effective January 1, 1981; P.A. 80-158 made provisions specifically applicable to "individually identifiable" information, clarified that disclosure prohibition applies to persons or entities "not employed or affiliated with the employer", expanded circumstances under which disclosure is allowed where previously disclosure was limited to cases "pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena", added reference to physician's right of inspection, changed wording slightly and changed effective date of P.A. 79-264 from January 1, 1981, to July 1, 1980.

      Cited. 201 C. 421.

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      Sec. 31-128g. Employee's right to obtain copies. Each employer shall, within a reasonable time after receipt of a written request from an employee, provide such employee with a copy of all or part of his personnel file or provide such employee's physician with a copy of such employee's medical records, provided such request reasonably identifies the materials to be copied. Such employer may charge a fee for copying such file or records or any part of such file or records. Such fee shall be reasonably related to the cost of supplying the requested documents.

      (P.A. 79-264, S. 7, 9; P.A. 80-158, S. 6, 7.)

      History: P.A. 79-264 effective January 1, 1981; P.A. 80-158 changed effective date to July 1, 1981.

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      Sec. 31-128h. Frequency of inspection. No employer shall be required to permit an inspection of any employee's personnel file or medical records on more than two occasions in any calendar year.

      (P.A. 79-264, S. 8, 9; P.A. 80-158, S. 6, 7.)

      History: P.A. 79-264 effective January 1, 1981; P.A. 80-158 changed effective date to July 1, 1980.

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      Sec. 31-128i. Employee's consent required for disclosure of participation in employee assistance program. (a) No employee assistance professional, employee or state employee shall be required to disclose any information or records concerning or confirming the employee's voluntary participation in an employee assistance program sponsored or authorized by an employer or the state or any of its agencies.

      (b) Except as permitted under section 31-128f, no employee assistance program, by itself or its agents or representatives, shall disclose any information or records concerning or confirming an employee's or a state employee's voluntary participation in such program without the prior written consent of the employee or state employee, except where disclosure is necessary to prevent harm to the employee or others.

      (c) For purposes of this section, "state employee" means any employee in the executive, legislative or judicial branch of state government, whether in the classified or unclassified service and whether full or part-time and any employee of a quasi-public agency.

      (P.A. 01-29; P.A. 03-187, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 03-187 amended Subsec. (a) by adding "employee assistance professional", "employee" and "employer" and amended Subsec. (b) by adding "employee" and authorizing disclosure where necessary to prevent harm.

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      Sec. 31-128j. Labor Commissioner's subpoena powers. In connection with any investigation by the Labor Department regarding any provision of this chapter, the Labor Commissioner or the Labor Commissioner's duly authorized agent may summon by subpoena an employer against whom a complaint under this chapter has been filed, an employee who has filed a complaint that is the subject of such investigation, any other person having custody or control of such employee's medical records or personnel file or any person whose testimony may be pertinent to the matter under investigation, together with any records or other documents of the complaining employee relevant to such investigation. Any such records or documents obtained by the Labor Department pursuant to such subpoena shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, as defined in section 1-200. In case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued pursuant to this section, the Superior Court, upon application of the Labor Commissioner, shall have jurisdiction to make such order as may be appropriate to aid in the enforcement of this section.

      (P.A. 04-178, S. 1.)

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