Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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Yes. An employer has the authority and discretion as to the contents of an employee's file. This is part of the "at will" doctrine. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). But it extends beyond firing, to hiring, promotions, demotions, wage cuts and raises, disciplinary actions, and even scheduling. Unless you can show that this was done in violation of a contract, union agreement, or a clear violation of an unambiguous and binding clause against the employer, or that it was done because of some minority status (age, race, gender, religion, disability) that you have, then they do have this discretion.
A file is not "official" and does not have any legal status, and as such the law does not govern what may or has to be included in it or not.
Now if the employer does not place the document in the file, and an employee wishes it to be so, that employee should keep very good records and safekeeping of that document should it be needed in the future.
The reasoning from HR was that I have noted "personal information" and therefore, cannot be placed in my file. I was asking them to cut my hours as originally agreed to when hired. That is all . . . .they agreed to place a document in my file but HR will type up another memo.
Again, it's entirely up to the company as to what is or is not placed in the file. The employee does not have any "right" to force them to place something in the file. And again, what goes into the file is not that relevant, in that the file does not have any official status. It's merely the private records of the company.
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