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  • Writer's pictureS. Anne Marie Archer

Do you know what is in your employee file?

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

So, do you know what is your employee file? No??

Watch my YouTube video on this subject (Like, Comment & Subscribe) Then Go do these things right now!

1. Go to Human Resources and ask to see your employee file if it is not

accessible electronically.

2. Ask for a copy of your entire employee file for your records. If HR

refuses, ask them to provide an explanation for their refusal in writing.

3. Make sure copies of the following items are in your file:

  • Letter of Hire

  • Job Description(s)

  • Performance Reviews: Every performance review since your date of hire and any response you wrote to any review

  • Benefits information. Review your health benefits which should be separate from your main employee file

  • Retirement plan election documents

  • Change in Status documents. Any documentation relevant to salary increase, promotions, etc.

  • Acknowledgement of receipt of your Employee Handbook (if they made you sign one).

4. Make sure you have copies of every single one of the items above. If any of the items above are missing, ask HR to provide copies to you.

Check your employee file twice per year. I strongly recommend this. I suggest reviewing your file at the start of the year and then again after performance review are competed. Most HR departments are understaffed and they do not always effectively manage personnel files. All the more reason for you to check your file.

Have a copy of your Employee Handbook. Know what the organization’s Document Retention policies say and ensure that HR is maintaining your personnel records in alignment of those policies. If they are not, raise your concerns, in writing.

Remember: The primary function of Human Resources (HR) is to protect the organization and as a result they generally protect management more than they do the employee. So, make sure you know what is in the file.

Make sure you have command of what is in your employee record. If something is in your file that you were not aware of, ask that HR remove it or ask to write a response that reflects your concerns about the item in your file.

Knowing what is in your employee file is central to effectively managing your career and it is extremely helpful in the event that you need to document a discriminatory Hostile Work Environment. If you are regularly reviewing your employee file, it makes it harder for a rogue manager, to “slip” derogatory items into your file when you raise concerns about their racist or otherwise discriminatory behavior in the workplace.

If you believe you are being subjected to a discriminatory Hostile Work Environment, enroll in my 4-part Hostile Work Environment Escape Strategy Webinar Series. It will walk you through each step needed to identify, document, report, request and negotiate a separation from an employer with severance based on discriminatory actions. If you’d rather work with me 1:1 you can book a Hostile Work Environment Escape Strategy Discovery Call with me HERE. Participants in the webinar series receive a 10% discount on 1:1 consultation packages.

If you need advice to resolve other HR issues or concerns you may have, book an HR consultation discovery call with me HERE.

REMEMBER: Discrimination in the workplace in the United States is illegal. Never keep it to yourself. Document and report incidents immediately. Give your management and HR department a reasonable amount of time to resolve and if they do not, ACT.

If you need help navigating a discriminatory hostile work environment, or you want to get out of one, perhaps with some severance pay, Book a HWEES Discovery Call.

For more tips about navigating and escaping difficult HR situations,

Follow me on IG and Tik Tok @theantihrhrlady

And on LinkedIn at

Subscribe to my YouTube channel and check out the AntiHR, HR Lady video playlist.


Subscribe to my website at

HR is not your enemy but they are definitely not your friend, I am.

I am the AntiHR, HRLady and I’m here to help.

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