Public Safety Officers and the Right to Review Personnel Files

On February 15, 2012, in Barber v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (California Courts of Appeal – 4th District, No. E052296), the court held that previously employed officers do not retain the right to review personnel files after he or she has been terminated.

In Barber, the petitioner was terminated after working for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 11 years. Four months after his termination, the petitioner requested copies of his records from various years, which was denied. The petitioner alleged this was a violation of his rights under the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights. The court found that it was not.

After conducting statutory analysis, the court found that every employer must permit a terminated employee the right to review personnel files that are relevant to his or her own termination. However, where an officer is no longer employed, the officer is no longer entitled to review his records. The court reasoned that the legislative purpose of the rule was to create more stable employer-employee relationships, which is irrelevant when an officer is no longer employed.

If you believe you have been denied a right review personnel files, please do not hesitate to contact a Orange County Employment Lawyer today.

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