07-06.02 – Implementing Procedures on Personnel Files for Non-Exempt and Exempt Staff Employees

  1. Purpose:

    Towson University has established implementing procedures regarding the maintenance, access and control of personnel files for all Non-exempt and Exempt staff (“Staff Employees”). These procedures are in accordance with USM policy VII-6.02, Policy on Employee Files for Nonexempt and Exempt Staff Employees

  2. Definitions: 

    1. “Personnel File” is a confidential business record that is the property of the University. The file, in electronic or paper format, consists of personal demographics and information relating to the individual’s employment as more specifically set forth in Section IV.G. of these procedures. 

    2. “Interested Employee” is the employee about whom the personnel files set forth in Section IV.G. specifically relate. 

  3. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executive:
    Associate Vice President for Human Resources

    Responsible Office:
    Office of Human Resources

  4. General:

    1. All personnel files are confidential and are to be secured accordingly. Anyone handling personnel files shall maintain confidentiality of the material at all times. This includes maintaining confidentiality while the material is being transmitted electronically, via FAX or mail. 

    2. To maintain confidentiality, personnel files are secured in the Office of Human Resources. All records to be included in personnel files are prepared by or delivered directly to the Office of Human Resources. Only the Office of Human Resources staff shall file, remove, re-file and/or process personnel records and files whether in paper or electronic format. 

    3. Records may not be removed from the Office of Human Resources except by authorization from the Associate Vice President of Human Resources or his/her designee. 

    4. All requests for verification of employment for current or former employees are to be directed to the Office of Human Resources. Non-confidential information such as dates of employment, position(s) held, and current salary may be released on request. Confidential information shall not be released unless the Office of Human Resources is in receipt of a written release signed by the employee, a court order, or a subpoena. 

    5. The following persons have authorized access to individual personnel files: 

      1. the Associate Vice President of Human Resources and his/her staff 

      2. the Interested Employee 

      3. the employee’s current supervisor or any individual within the organizational unit who is in the chain of authority above the employee or legal counsel to such person in that capacity

      4. auditors (USM, Towson University, Legislative Auditors) 

      5. the employee’s designee as identified on an Office of Human Resources form and signed by the employee. 

    6. Interested Employees shall have access to their own personnel files and medical records as identified in Section IV.G. and I. by requesting an appointment with the Office of Human Resources. All files shall be reviewed in the presence of an Office of Human Resources staff member. At the time of such review, the staff member may require the employee to initial and date all records in his/her file(s). Interested Employees who request copies of materials from their file(s) may be charged a fee for reproducing the materials. 

    7. Personnel files are those records prepared by or delivered directly to the Office of Human Resources in the ordinary scope of its business for the purpose of documenting and maintaining essential personnel history information related to an individual’s employment, including: 

      1. employment application and/or resume 

      2. academic transcripts or other statements of academic or job qualifications 

      3. job descriptions 

      4. records of hire, promotion, demotion, transfer, reassignment, layoff, compensation, education and training 

      5. letters of recognition 

      6. counseling and disciplinary records that are signed by the employee or that the employee has refused to sign after having the opportunity to review and sign 

      7. annual performance evaluations 

      8. separation actions 

      9. an employee’s written objections to information appearing in the personnel file 

    8. Towson University follows the University System of Maryland Records Retention Standards found on the Materiel Management website. 

    9. Medical records shall be maintained in a separate file. 

    10. Grievance records shall be maintained in a separate file.

    11. The following documents are not personnel files to which employees may have access under these Procedures: 

      1. investigations conducted by other University offices including, internal audit, fair practices, the University police and the University’s Counsel; 

      2. staff planning documents, including but not limited to, reorganization, layoff, job assignment and compensation; 

      3. records prepared by supervisors that are maintained in their sole possession and that are not accessible to or shared with other persons. To the extent this information is provided to the Office of Human Resources for inclusion in the individual’s personnel file, these records shall be deemed personnel files to which an Interested Employee shall have access under these Procedures.

Related Policies:

USM policy VII-6.02, Policy on Employee Files for Nonexempt and Exempt Staff Employees

Approval Date:

Effective Date: 6/13/05

Signed By: President’s Council

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .