Sunday, January 17, 2016

Personnel Files Act - 43 P.S. 1321 - 1324 - "currently employed"

Thomas Jefferson Univ. Hospital v. Dept. of Labor and Industry – Cmwlth. Court – January 6, 2016

The purpose of the Personnel Files Act (PFA), 43 P.S. 1321 – 1324, “is to acknowledge the right of both public and private employees to review files held by their employers that contain information about themselves[.]” Bangor Area Educ. Ass’n v. Angle, 720 A.2d 198, 202 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998).  Section 2 of the Act provides in relevant part: “An employer shall, at reasonable times, 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.” 43 P.S. § 1322 (emphasis added). Section 1 of the Act, defines an “[e]mployee]” as “[a]ny person currently employed, laid off with reemployment rights or on leave of absence.   [emphasis added) The term ‘employee’ shall not include applicants for employment or any other person.” 43 P.S. § 1321.

The court rejected all of the employer’s several arguments that the terminated employee was not “currently employed” and thus had no rights under the PFA.  The court discussed rules of statutory interpretation, legislative history, et al.

If the case is old, the link may have become stale and may not work, but you can use the case name, court, and date to find the opinion in another source (e.g., Westlaw, Lexis, Google Scholar)