502 Employee Records
Access to employee records is subject to state statutes on personnel records. Generally, persons other than the employee's supervisor and managerial or supervisory staff of the Department of Human Resources and the Office of the Provost may not at any time inspect an individual's employee records without permission from the Manager of Employee Records or the University Librarian or the delegate of those officials under their respective control, or the Provost or Vice President for Finance and Administration or the delegate of either of them.
A present or former University employee may inspect his or her own records in accordance with the following procedures:
- Benefits Records. "Benefits records" are documents pertaining to the eligibility of an employee (or his or her beneficiary) to participate in, or to receive benefits from, any employee benefit plan. An employee may review his or her benefits records by submitting a written request to the Benefits Office.
- Medical Records. "Medical records," for this purpose, means all papers, documents, and reports prepared by a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist that are in the University's possession and are work-related or upon which the University relies to make any employment-related decision. They do not include Yale Health Plan medical records or records of the Mental Hygiene Division that are separately maintained by the University Health Services and are subject to the University Health Services' separate policies on confidentiality and access.
An employee who wishes to inspect and to copy his or her medical records, as defined above, should address a written request to the Office of the Director of University Health Services.
- Personnel Files. According to Connecticut statutes, "Personnel file" means papers, documents, and reports pertaining to an employee that are or have been used to determine such employee's eligibility for employment, promotion, additional compensation, transfer, termination, disciplinary or other adverse personnel action, including employee evaluations or reports, or reports relating to such employee's character, credit and work habits. Personnel files do not include 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 that are developed or prepared for use in civil, criminal, or grievance procedures.
An official personnel file for each employee is maintained by the Records Section of the Department of Human Resources. Documents may be inserted in these files only with the approval of a representative of Human Resources. The employee's supervisor and/or department may also maintain a file of pertinent employment and performance data. Personnel files for Library employees are maintained by Library Personnel Services.
Access to an employee's personnel file(s) will be afforded within a reasonable time after receipt of a written request, and an employee may inspect and copy at no cost, his or her personnel file(s) in the presence of a University representative.
Subsequently, an employee will be permitted to inspect his or her file(s) and copy new material in the file(s) as frequently as is reasonable. However, an employee is not permitted to inspect the following:
- letters of reference or recommendations from third parties, including former employers, or letters of reference or recommendations written on behalf of the employee by other Yale employees to individuals outside the University.
- test information where the University believes that disclosure would invalidate the test.
Written requests to inspect personnel files should be directed by the employee to the appropriate office as indicated below:
- staff with Corporation appointments: Office of the Provost, 117 HGS
- library employees: Library Personnel Services, 117B Sterling Memorial Library
- other managerial and professional employees and excluded clerical and technical employees: Department of Human Resources, Room 120, 155 Whitney Avenue.
If a supervisor or department is requested by an employee to furnish these records, the employee should be directed to the appropriate office as indicated above where the records covered by the statute will be assembled for review by the employee. Any questions concerning an employee's right to review various other records should be directed to those offices or to the Office of the General Counsel.
If a staff member disputes or disagrees with information or documentation contained in his or her personnel file, and the submitting department determines that it should remain in the file, the employee may submit written comments to be made part of that file.
- Verification of data. As a service to employees, the Records Section of the Department of Human Resources will furnish upon written request of third parties outside the University an employee's dates of employment at the University and his or her title or position. In instances where payroll information is requested (e.g., salary information for the purpose of obtaining a mortgage), the requesting party will be advised that this information will only be made available with the written consent of the employee.
- Inquiries by governmental agencies. Inquiries made by governmental agencies concerning security clearances regarding individual employees should be referred to the Office of the Secretary. Verification of the dates of employment of a former employee may be provided to those agencies directly by the Records Section of the Department of Human Resources upon the agent's presentation of proper identification, and statement of the reason for the inquiry.
Inquiries by the United States Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or other federal, state, or municipal agencies requesting information about current or former employees should be referred to the Office of the General Counsel.
In order to respond to possible emergencies and to provide employees with important notices relating to salaries, benefits, and other matters, it is important that the University have current and accurate records. Accordingly, employees must report any change in status--name, address, telephone number, marriage, divorce, number of dependents, etc--to the business manager or other school or department administrator responsible for the records. A profile to correct the employee's central personnel record must then be prepared and forwarded to the Records Section of the Department of Human Resources. Alternatively, an "on-line" update may be entered by the Department's Business Office.
Xref: OPM 409