Policies & Contracts

705 - Employee Access to Personnel Records

Subject: Employee Access to Personnel Records

Section: U705

Date: October, 2016


To provide guidance regarding personnel document retention and to provide employees, upon proper request, the right to inspect their personnel records. Generally, personnel records are University documents that capture an employee's qualifications for employment, promotion, transfer, compensation, discharge or other disciplinary action.


There is one university personnel file housed within University HR. Personnel documents should not be stored in the department or unit.

Current or former employees or their representatives may review certain personnel records twice per calendar year at reasonable intervals, upon making a request to University HR. Former University of Chicago employees have access to their personnel records for one year after separation, according to Illinois state law. The University of Chicago complies with applicable Illinois state laws.


Personnel Document Retention

Effective January 1, 2015 and after, personnel documents should be stored only in Workday, the University's HRIS, using the relevant Workday document categories. Documents dated prior to January1, 2015 are stored in the University's personnel record management system. Personnel documents should not be stored anywhere other than these two locations.

Employee Access to Personnel Records

  1. Personnel records that are accessible for review by current or former employees are any documents which have been used or which are intended for use in determining the employee's qualifications for employment, promotion, transfer, additional compensation, discharge or other disciplinary action.
  2. Certain documents are not subject to employee access.
  3. A current employee who wants to inspect his/her personnel records must make a written request to Workdaysupport@uchicago.edu, which will coordinate the granting of access to the personnel records through the university's secure HR Information System (Workday), generally within seven working days of the request. A former employee or their representative has the option to (1) have their personnel records securely emailed, (2) have the records delivered via home address or (3) can arrange for the records to be picked up from Human Resources.
  4. An employee who is involved in a current grievance can designate, in writing, a representative to inspect the employee's personnel records which may have bearing on the resolution of the grievance.
  5. Valid identification must be presented by the employee and/or the employee's representative before being allowed access to the employee’s personnel records, unless the records are being accessed through the university's secure HR Information System by the employee.
  6. An employee may have single photocopies of any documents inspected. The University may charge a reasonable fee for copies, if a large number of copies are requested.
  7. To correct or remove information from a personnel record, there must be a mutual agreement to do so between the employee and the employee's unit or HR.
  8. An employee may attach an explanatory statement to any disputed document in his/her personnel records.

Employees represented by a union may be governed by the appropriate bargaining unit agreement.