§2.17
Employee Records

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Rev. 09/07

  1. Policy
  2. Responsibility
  3. Personnel Records
    1. Contents of Records
    2. Collection of Records
    3. Transfer of Records
    4. Classification of Information in Staff Personnel Records
    5. Disposition on Termination
  4. Protection of Right to Privacy
    1. Access by Individual Employee
    2. Access by University Employees, Hearing Officers, or Hearing Committees
    3. Access by Public
    4. Access Required by Law
    5. Access by Public Authorities
    6. Release Under Employee Authorization
    7. Prospective Non-University Employers
    8. Access by Government Agencies to Confidential Personnel Records
  5. Record of Disclosures
  6. Civil Remedies and Penalties
  7. Charges for Copies of Records
    1. Individuals' Own Records
    2. Requests by Others
    3. Subpoenaed Records

A.  POLICY

In accordance with University policy, the Laboratory establishes and maintains only those personnel records pertaining to individuals as employees of the Laboratory or as applicants for employment that are relevant and necessary to the administration of personnel programs. These records must be maintained with accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness; appropriate and reasonable safeguards must be established to ensure security and confidentiality. Employees have the right to privacy, the right of access to their own records, and the right to request changes, additions, or deletions to such records.

B.  RESPONSIBILITY

The Laboratory Director will establish implementing procedures to ensure compliance with this policy. For detailed legal requirements covering all University records, see University of California Legal Requirements on Privacy of and Access to Information, Business and Finance Bulletin RMP-8 (Records Management Program series).

C.  PERSONNEL RECORDS

1.  Contents of Records

Individual personnel records may include the following information:

  1. Employment (e.g., application for employment, tests, and letters or statements of reference)

  2. Pay and benefits

  3. Training and education

  4. Honors and awards

  5. Duties and job classification

  6. Performance appraisals and related information

  7. Corrective, release, and dismissal actions

  8. Attendance

  9. Other relevant or necessary information specified by the University President or the Laboratory Director

2.  Collection of Records

All information in personnel records will be collected, to the greatest extent practical, from the individual who is the subject of the information. If the source of the information is not the subject individual, a record of the source will be indicated on the pertinent record. As determined pertinent by the Head of the Human Resources Department, an individual may add material to his or her personnel records. The individual may file a statement of disagreement with a determination of pertinency by the Head of the Human Resources Department, as indicated in Paragraph (D)(1)(d), below. Personnel records are maintained in the Laboratory Human Resources Department and other offices designated by the Laboratory Director.

3.  Transfer of Records

An individual's department or division records will be transferred to the department or division to which an individual transfers, except that departmental/divisional records of attendance and time worked will be retained in the department/division where the work was performed. Performance evaluations and records of corrective action will be maintained in an individual's department or division personnel file.

4.  Classification of Information in Staff Personnel Records

Information in staff personnel records is classified into the following categories:

  1. "Confidential," as defined in RMP-8, VII.B.1. When specific criteria are met, information (including but not limited to certain information compiled for the purpose of specified kinds of investigations and certain information pertaining to the physical or psychological condition of the individual) is classified as confidential. Confidential information has the most restricted access of the three information categories and, as long as the information remains confidential, such information is not accessible even to the individual to whom it pertains, subject to certain exceptions (see Paragraph (D)(1), below, and RMP-8, VII.G.3).

  2. "Personal," as defined in RMP-8, VII.B.4. Personal information is any information that identifies or describes an individual, except information determined to be "confidential" or "nonpersonal," as defined in RMP-8, VII, and the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Full access to personal information is provided to the individual to whom the information pertains, but personal information is not released to members of the public unless specifically authorized by the individual in writing (see Paragraph (D)(3), below) or as otherwise required by law (see Paragraph (D)(4), below).

  3. "Nonpersonal," as defined in RMP-8, VII.B.3. Nonpersonal information is information that could not in any reasonable way reflect or convey anything detrimental to an individual's reputation, rights, benefits, privileges, or qualifications. Nonpersonal information may be released without the consent of the individual to whom the information pertains. See Paragraph (D)(3), below.

5.  Disposition on Termination

An employee's department or division records will be transferred to the Human Resources Department one year after the employee's termination. The Human Resources Department will review and file all necessary documents in the official personnel file.

D.  PROTECTION OF RIGHT TO PRIVACY

An individual will have the right to inquire and be informed about whether the Laboratory maintains a record on him or her and to review the notices of personnel records systems referring to him or her that are submitted to the State Office of Information Practices. To protect an individual's right to privacy, access to staff personnel records will be made in accordance with the following provisions:

1.  Access by Individual Employee

  1. An individual's records will be accessible for inspection by that individual, but records protected by recognized legal privilege and records excepted from disclosure by law may be withheld from the individual. An individual will be notified in writing whenever a requested record about the individual is determined to be "confidential information," as defined in University of California Legal Requirements on Privacy and Access to Information, Business and Finance Bulletin RMP-8. An individual may request a review by the Laboratory Director of a determination that particular information is confidential and be informed in writing of the findings of such review within 30 days. This is the sole review process for a confidential determination. In disclosing information contained in a record to an individual, the University may not disclose any information relating to another individual other than that which may be released under Paragraph (D)(3), below.

  2. Pre-employment references obtained with the promise or, before July 1, 1978, with the understanding that the identity of the source of information would not be disclosed, may be edited before release to the individual to protect the identity of the source as long as the source is not in a supervisory position with respect to the individual. Editing may be done by providing a comprehensive summary of the substance of the material or by providing a copy of the text with only those deletions that are necessary to protect the identity of the source.

  3. As soon as practical, but no later than 60 days from the receipt of a request for records that are geographically disbursed, inactive, or in storage, and within 30 calendar days from the date of receipt of a request for other records, an individual will be provided copies of the individual's own personnel records or be notified that the requested material is withheld from access under Paragraph (E), below, or is no longer retained. No information may be modified, transferred, or destroyed to avoid complying with a request for inspection; however, pre-employment references may be edited to protect the identity of the source, under Paragraphs (D)(1)(a) or (b), above. Copies of records will be available to the individual at the location where the records are maintained or will be mailed to an address provided by the individual.

  4. Requests for correction or deletion may be made by employees under RPM §2.05(D) (Employee Complaint Resolution), as appropriate, and under this policy. Applicants for employment may make correction or deletion requests under this policy only. Requests for correction or deletion should be made to the office where the record originated.

    An individual may request correction or deletion of a record under this policy by submitting a written request to the division director or department head where the record originated and by sending a copy of the request to the Human Resources Department. Within 30 calendar days of receipt of a written request to amend a record, the division director or department head either will make the amendment as requested and so inform the individual in writing or will inform the individual of a refusal to amend the record as requested. The refusal must be in writing and state the reason for the refusal and that the individual may request the Laboratory Director to review the refusal.

    Within 30 calendar days after the response of the division director or department head, the individual may request that the Laboratory Director review a refusal to correct or delete a record. The Laboratory Director must respond in writing to the individual within 30 calendar days from receipt of the request. For good cause, the Laboratory Director may extend the review period by 30 calendar days. A copy of the Laboratory Director's response will be placed in the individual's record only if the request is denied. If the Laboratory Director refuses to amend or delete the record, the individual will have the right to enter into the record a statement setting forth the reasons for the individual's disagreement.

2.  Access by University Employees, Hearing Officers, or Hearing Committees

University or Laboratory employees will have access to specific information in an individual's personnel record that is necessary to the performance of their assigned duties. Subject to authorization by the Head of the Human Resources Department or by the employee, hearing officers and committees will have access to employee personnel records when necessary in the resolution of employee complaints, as provided in RPM §2.05(D) (Employee Complaint Resolution). However, information that is excepted from disclosure to the individual under Paragraph (D)(1), above, may not be disclosed. Any information so obtained will be treated as confidential and not be released to any other person except as necessary in the performance of the assigned University or Laboratory duties requiring the original access.

3.  Access by Public

As required by law, the following employment information will be released to members of the public on request: the individual's name, date of hire, current position title, current rate of pay, organizational unit assignment, date of separation, office address and office telephone number, current job description, full-time or part-time, and career, casual, casual-restricted, probationary, or contract status. If it is impractical to inspect or copy the record, an extract of the record of the above terms of an individual's employment relationship with the Laboratory may be provided. Additional employment information may be required to be released to the public as determined by the University General Counsel and the Senior Vice President, Administration (see RMP-8, VII.B.3).

Personnel record information that would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy of the employee may not be released to the public unless specifically authorized by the individual in writing or as otherwise required by law. Release of the following personnel information would constitute an invasion of the individual's personal privacy and accordingly may not be released to the public unless specifically authorized by the individual concerned in writing: the employee's home telephone number and home address, spouse's or other relatives' names, birthdate, social security number, citizenship, prior non-University employment, attendance records, income-tax withholding, medical records, or information such as performance evaluation, letters of commendation, or corrective action and any of the information that may be excepted from disclosure under Paragraphs (D)(1)(a) or (b), above. An individual's home address may be disclosed after the individual has had the opportunity to request nondisclosure and does not request it.

Other personnel record information may be released to members of the public as long as a determination is made that disclosure would not constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy of an employee. Any question on whether release of such information might constitute an invasion of personal privacy will be referred to the University Assistant Vice President, Employee Relations.

4.  Access Required by Law

Personnel information must be released under a subpoena or in other circumstances in which the University or Laboratory is required by law to release the information. Any questions concerning release of information under such circumstances or concerning records that may be subject to legal privilege will be directed to the University of California Office of General Counsel. A record of disclosure is required (see Paragraph (E), below).

5.  Access by Public Authorities

Release of information to public authorities must be in conformance with Paragraph (D)(3), above, and with Guidelines for Access to University Personnel Records by Governmental Agencies, Business and Finance Bulletin RMP-9.

6.  Release Under Employee Authorization

On written or oral authorization (with adequate identification) by the individual, information from his or her personnel records, other than material excepted from disclosure under Paragraphs (D)(1)(a) or (b), above, may be released. The authorization will be valid for 30 calendar days from the date of the signature of the authorization or oral request or within a written time limit specified by the individual, whichever is later.

7.  Prospective Non-University Employers

A prospective non-University employer has the same access to employee personnel records as a member of the public. Other specific record information may be released only on written or oral authorization of the employee or former employee. See Paragraph (D)(3), above.

The division director or department head may provide an oral evaluation of an individual in response to specific job-related questions by a prospective non-University employer who, in the judgment of the division director or department head, has a legitimate interest in receiving such information. Such an evaluation must be based on personal knowledge.

8.  Access by Government Agencies to Confidential Personnel Records

  1. In accordance with University of California guidelines for responding to requests from governmental agencies for confidential information in personnel files that the agencies desire to review in investigating allegations of discriminatory activity or conducting compliance reviews, the implementing procedures to be followed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory require that all requests for information be reviewed by the Head of the Human Resources Department and that the following policies be applied:

    If a representative of an enforcement agency other than the Department of Labor requests access to material in Laboratory personnel records or Laboratory Director's Office records that includes items characterized as confidential under this section, this request must be in written form. In response to a written request, the requester should be informed as follows:

      The University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is in full support of [name of agency]'s need and duty to acquire information pertinent to carrying out its functions. University personnel policies specify, however, that certain materials in personnel records are confidential documents. This designation of confidentiality is essential to the University's personnel process to secure candid evaluations of individuals under review. The University provides safeguards in the review process to assure that the confidentiality does not cloak unfairness to individuals or result in abuse.

      With respect to personnel records, University policies take into account the need to protect individual rights of privacy. Furthermore, these personnel policies provide that subject individuals may receive, on request, a comprehensive summary of the substance of the confidential documents in their files, edited to withhold disclosure of the identity of persons who have supplied evaluations of the subject individuals with the understanding that the identity of the evaluator will be held in confidence.

      In light of the above policies, the University is prepared to make available to an authorized representative of your agency on-site review of personnel files relevant to its investigation, with the understanding that the agency will maintain the confidentiality of confidential personnel records.

  2. In applying University and Laboratory general policies regarding use of confidential documents in the personnel process and to balance the need to protect the confidentiality of certain records against the legitimate needs of access by governmental agencies, Laboratory employees should abide by the following guidelines in dealing with representatives of governmental agencies who have requested material from personnel records:

    1. With respect to information from a complainant's personnel record, the investigator should be invited to view the complete file on site.

    2. With respect to information from the personnel files of other individuals relevant to a complaint, the investigator should be invited to view the complete relevant file on site.

    3. With respect to compliance reviews, the investigator should be invited to view on site complete files that are relevant to the review.

    4. All requests for confidential records by outside agencies or investigators should be submitted to the Associate Laboratory Director for Operations (ALDO).

  3. Copying confidential records or notes taken from records for the purpose of removal from the Laboratory must be approved by the ALDO.

E.  RECORD OF DISCLOSURES

A record will be maintained and the concerned individual notified of each disclosure of information that identifies that individual and is made under subpoena or other law. See Paragraph (D)(4), above. This notification will be made before disclosure, if possible. The record should show the name, title, and business address of the person to whom the disclosure was made, the date of the disclosure, the information disclosed, and the purpose of the disclosure. A record of disclosure is not required for release under Paragraphs (D)(2), (3), and (6), above. For a complete list of circumstances requiring an accounting of disclosure and when an employee must be notified of disclosure, see University of California Business and Finance Bulletin RMP-8, VII.I.

The Laboratory will retain any records of disclosure for three years after the disclosure or until the original record is destroyed, whichever occurs first. Disclosure records will include information concerning any unresolved disputes about the accuracy of the records. See Paragraph (D)(1)(d), above. If a record is corrected within three years of disclosure and the name of a person to whom uncorrected information was disclosed is known, a notice of correction will be sent to that person.

F.  CIVIL REMEDIES AND PENALTIES

Civil remedies and penalties are provided by law.

G.  CHARGES FOR COPIES OF RECORDS

In accordance with the following procedures, fees may be charged for making copies or extracts of personnel record information.

1.  Individuals' Own Records

There is no charge for the first copy of an individual's own records.

2.  Requests by Others

Members of the public or others requesting identifiable personnel record information or extracts thereof not about themselves, which may be disclosed according to Paragraph (D)(3), above, may be charged $0.10 per extract. There is no charge for personnel costs associated with photocopying or extracting. When information cannot be readily procured from an identifiable personnel record, however, reasonable fees (as provided below) may be charged for procuring such record:

  1. Clerical time used to procure data from identifiable records: $10 per hour

  2. Professional time used to procure data from identifiable records: $30 per hour

  3. EDP services: actual charges

  4. Postage: actual charges

3.  Subpoenaed Records

Subpoenaed records may be provided either in person or by mail, depending on the kind of subpoena. Charges may be made as follows:

  1. When personal attendance of the custodian of records or other University witness is required by the subpoena, the University may request advance payment of one day's witness fee ($12 and mileage fee of $0.20 per mile, one way, in California).

  2. When the subpoena does not require a personal appearance, copies of the records may be mailed. A reasonable amount (e.g., $0.10 per page) may be charged for copying records.

  3. The charge for copying and mailing may be deducted from any witness fee received in advance, or the party asking for the records may be billed as indicated above.

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