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Access to Central Personnel File

Talent and Culture
 Access to Central Personnel Files
Responsible Unit:  Talent and Culture
Adopted:  Sept. 10, 1998
Revision History:  Nov. 13, 2013
Review Date:  N/A

General Information

Reason For  This Procedure

To outline the process for accessing employee central personnel records housed in the Division of Human Resources, as defined in Higher Education Policy Commission Series 8 - Personnel Administration. 

This Procedure Applies To

This procedure applies to all employees on all campuses who have a central personnel file housed in the Division of Human Resources of West Virginia University.


Personnel File -  Confidential file containing documentation regarding the employee’s appointment, compensation, promotion, demotion, transfer, honorary awards, disciplinary actions and election of benefits at the University.


An active employee, upon presenting proof of positive identification, is entitled to inspect or to obtain a copy of his/her own personnel file during normal business hours, by contacting Records Management in Human Resources to make an appointment at least twenty-four hours in advance. Materials which were gathered with the employee’s prior agreement to forfeit his/her right of access, such as references, will not be provided to the employee for inspection or copying. 

A representative of Records Management shall be present with the employee during the review of the personnel file. The date, time, and location of each review shall be recorded in the personnel file. No documents may be removed from the personnel file by an employee. An employee may petition at any time for either the removal or addition of documents to his/her own personnel file by contacting Employee Relations in the Division of Human Resources, which shall make the final determination. 

An employee may authorize the release of information in his/her personnel file to a third party upon the execution of a written authorization. An employee’s personnel file may be subject to review by appropriate University officials on a need-to-know basis.

The University may disclose an employee’s personnel file information pursuant to a court order, subpoena, or as required by law. The Office of Legal Affairs shall review such requests prior to any disclosure.



Responsibility for interpretation of this administrative procedure rests with the Vice President for Human Resources or his/her designee. 


The Division of Human Resources is responsible for restricting file access and maintaining the confidentiality of central personnel files. 


Additional information or questions regarding this procedure should be directed to Records Management in the Division of Human Resources at (304) 293-5700 ext. 1, or at .

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