H. B. 4010
(By Delegates Fleischauer, Caputo, Marshall, Hatfield,
Guthrie, Susman, Perdue, Frazier and Stowers)
[Introduced January 13, 2010; referred to the
Committee on Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic
Development and Small Business then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §21-3-22, relating to
providing that all employees have the right to review and copy
the contents of their personnel file.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §21-3-22, to read as
ARTICLE 3. SAFETY AND WELFARE OF EMPLOYEES.
§21-3-22. Right of employees to inspect and copy personnel file;
frequency of inspection; employer's right to retain
personnel files on employer's premises.
(a) "Personnel file," as used in this section, means papers,
documents and reports pertaining to a particular employee which are
used or have been used by an employer to determine such employee's eligibility for employment, promotion, additional compensation,
transfer, termination, disciplinary or other adverse personnel
action including employee evaluations or reports relating to such
employee's character, credit and work habits. "Personnel file"
does not mean stock option or management bonus plan records,
materials which are used by the employer to plan for future
operations, security files, information such as test information,
the disclosure of which would invalidate the test, or documents
which are being developed or prepared for use in civil, criminal or
(b) "Security files," as used in this section, means
memoranda, documents or collections of information relating to
investigations of losses, misconduct or suspected crimes and
investigative information maintained pursuant to government
requirements, provided such memoranda, documents or information are
not used to determine an employee's eligibility for employment,
promotion, additional compensation, transfer, termination,
disciplinary or other adverse personnel action.
(c) Every employee, whether public or private, has the right
to inspect his or her personnel file, if the file exists.
Inspection shall take place during regular business hours at a
location at or reasonably near the employee's place of employment.
(d) Each employer shall, within a reasonable time after
receipt of a written request from an employee, provide the employee with a copy of all or any requested portion of his or her personnel
file, provided the request reasonably identifies the materials to
be copied. The employer may charge a fee of ten cents per page for
copying the file or any part of the file: Provided, That an
employer may not be required to provide a copy of an employee's
personnel file more than two times in a calendar year, unless the
employee requesting the personnel file has been terminated
involuntary. In that circumstance, upon written request of the
employee after notice of the involuntary termination, the employer
will provide another opportunity to review or request a copy of the
(e) The provisions of this section may not be construed to
permit an employee to remove the original of his or her personnel
file or any part of the file from the employer's premises or where
it is made available for inspection. Each employer retains the
right to protect his or her files from loss, damage or alteration
to ensure their integrity. Each employer may require that
inspection of any personnel file take place in the presence of a
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to give all employees the
right to review and copy their respective personnel files.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would