Access to Personnel Files Policy

POLICY GOVERNING ACCESS TO PERSONNEL FILES

Personnel files are the confidential property of Morrisville Public Library and are safeguarded as such by granting limited access to their contents.

The Library Board of Trustees may have access to personnel file information on a need-to-know basis only. Need is defined as an appropriate Board of Trustees Committee Chair considering either the re-hire of a former Morrisville Public Library employee or the discipline, transfer, or promotion of a current Morrisville Public Library employee.

Access to the requested personnel file may be granted by the Library Manager only. Such access is granted only in the context of an action taken at Morrisville Public Library and when the person making the request is directly involved in the matter at hand.

For example:
Not granted: a board member may not access a Morrisville Public Library personnel file for consideration of employment action at a different employer.

Granted: The appropriate Board Committee Chair may be granted access when the Board is considering the promotion of a current employee to the position of Library Manager or when disciplining the Manager.

Granted: The Library Manager may share information with the committee responsible for personnel if seeking counsel from the Board on a particular personnel matter.

The Library Manager will provide only the relevant portion of the personnel file (assessments, resume, application, evaluations, etc.), treating confidential, medical, and/or personally identifying information (PII) with the deference required by law and by professional courtesy.

The Board President, Vice-President, and Chair of an appropriate Board Committee are the only trustees authorized to request personnel files. The Board of Trustees will have access to personnel files only in response to an investigation or deliberation in which they are directly involved.

A staff member who is not acting or employed in a supervisory role is granted access only to his or her own personnel file and only when employed at the time of access.

Representatives of government or law enforcement agencies may be allowed access to certain personnel files in the course of their business. This decision will be made by the Library Manager, in consultation with legal counsel if necessary.

Morrisville Public Library shall provide supervised access to personnel files by current employees in accordance with applicable laws in response to a written request for access to the file. Should an employee wish to have photocopies of materials included in the personnel file or request that items be removed from the personnel file, s/he follows the established procedures to make such requests.

Former employees are not granted access to their personnel files.

PROCEDURE FOR ACCESSING PERSONNEL FILES

Only requests for access in compliance with the Personnel File Access Policy are granted.

BOARD PRESIDENT OR PERSONNEL COMMITTEE CHAIR
The authorized trustee submits a request in writing or via email to the Library Manager that includes the purpose and name of the employee.

CURRENT EMPLOYEES
Current employees may view personnel files by submitting a request in writing or via email to the Library Manager. Employees may schedule one hour of their workday ahead of time so as not to interrupt public service or require additional staffing. The Library Manager will be in the office with the staff member during its viewing to assure the file’s integrity.

FORMER EMPLOYEES
Former employees may not have access to their personnel files.

THIRD PARTIES
The administration of Morrisville Public Library will cooperate fully with official and legitimate requests from authorities (law enforcement, regulating authorities, etc.) or companies with whom the library has a relationship (NYS Retirement or an employee benefit company, for example) to provide information held in a personnel file for a current or former employee. The Library Manager will verify that the necessary permission or authorization has been obtained to release such information. Management reserves the right to consult with legal counsel in the process.

LIBRARY MANAGER’S ROLE IN MAINTAINING AND ALLOWING ACCESS TO PERSONNEL FILES

In the course of daily activities, the Library Manager of Morrisville Public Library will have access to personnel files. These files are to be accessed by the Manager only to conduct the business of the library in compliance with the policy governing access to personnel files.

The Library Manager is responsible for maintaining personnel files to conform with all applicable federal, state, and local laws as well as policies and procedures set forth by the library’s Board of Trustees including Records Retention Schedule for appropriate documents contained as part of a personnel file. The Library Manager maintains the files’ confidentiality including limiting access to authorized individuals as outlined in the Personnel File Access Policy.

Should the Library Manager encounter difficulty in any of these areas of responsibility or in enforcing the Personnel File Access Policy, s/he is to notify the Library Board President. Per the Whistleblower Policy, no retaliation can be enacted for good faith reporting.

Adopted November 16, 2017

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