CHAPTER 473

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 527

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 7. TITLE 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE RIGHT TO INSPECT PERSONNEL FILES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 7, Title 19 of the Delaware Code, by creating a new Subchapter III to read as follows:

"SUBCHAPTER III. RIGHT TO INSPECT PERSONNEL FILES

§719. Short Title

This Subchapter may be cited as the Right to Inspect Personnel Files Act.

§720. Definitions

As used In this Subchapter:

'Employee' means any person currently employed, laid off with reemployment rights or on leave of absence. The term 'employee' shall not include applicants for employment or designated agents.

'Employer' shall mean any individual, person, partnership, association, corporation, the State, any of its political subdivisions or any agency. authority, board or commission created by them.

'Personnel File' means, if maintained by the employer, any application for employment, wage or salary information, notices of commendations, warning or discipline, authorization for a deduction or withholding of pay, fringe benefit information, leave records, employment history with the employer, including salary information, Job title, dates of changes, retirement record, attendance records, performance evaluations and medical records. The term 'personnel file' shall not include records of an employee relating to the investigation of a possible criminal offense, letters of reference, documents which are being developed or prepared for use in civil, criminal or grievance procedures, or materials which are used by the employer to plan for future operations or information available to the employee under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

§721. Inspection of Personnel Files

An employer, shall at reasonable time, upon request of an employee permit that employee to inspect his or her own personnel files used to determine his or her own qualifications for employment, promotion, additional compensation, termination or disciplinary action. The employer shall make these records available during the regular business hours of the office where these records are usually and ordinarily maintained, when sufficient time Is available during the course of a regular business day, to inspect the personnel files in question. The employer may require the requesting employee to Inspect such records on the free time of the employee. At the employer's discretion, the employee may be required to file a written form to request access to the personnel file. This form Is solely for the purpose of identifying the requesting individual to avoid disclosure to ineligible Individuals. To assist the employer In providing the correct records to meet the employee's need, the employee shall Indicate in his written request, either the purpose for which the inspection is requested, or the particular parts of his personnel record which he wishes to inspect.

§722. Applicability

Nothing in this Subchapter shall be construed as a requirement that an employee be permitted to remove his personnel file, any part thereof, or copy of the contents of such file from the place of the employer's premises where it Is made available for inspection. The taking of notes by employees is permitted. The employer shall retain the right to protect his files from loss, damage or alteration to insure the integrity of the files. The employer may require inspection of the personnel file in the presence of a designated official. The employer must allow sufficient inspection time, commensurate with the volume content of the file. Except for reasonable cause the employer may limit inspection to once every calendar year.

Removal or correction of information; employee's explanatory statement

If upon inspection of his personnel file 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 employees personnel file or medical records and shall accompany any transmittal or disclosure from such file or records made to a third party.

Penalties

Any employer who refuses an employee access to personnel files as provided in this subchapter shall be deemed in violation of this subchapter and shall, upon conviction therefor, be fined not more than $200 for each violation. Jurisdiction of violations of this subchapter shall be in the Superior Court.

Severability

if any provision of this Act or its application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable."

Section 2. This Act shall become effective on September 1, 1984.

Approved September 29, 1984.