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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38910
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Socrateaser, I was terminated from my employment as a car

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Socrateaser,

I was terminated from my employment as a car salesperson with Toyota of Fairfield, California on November 27, 2011. I was an "at will' employee and was terminated without explanation after the dealership came under new management.

On this date of termination I requested in writing to view my personnel file. I was contacted by my Human Resources on 12/30/12 and was told that I could view my personnel file on 12/31/12.

I arrived at my human resources on 12/31/12, along with my fiance who was there to represent and assist me in reviewing my personnel file since I only speak Spanish and do not speak or read the English language. I told HR that my fiance had my persmission to view my personnel file with me and assist in translating of any documents that might be in my file and available for viewing.

I was told by human resources that my fiance was not allowed to view my personnel file since it was a "personal file". However, human resources told me that there was a secretary in the office who spoke Spanish and that she would view my personnel file with me and translate if necessary. I was also told that only employees of the company could assist me in translating any documents in my personnel file.

After my fiance was denied permission to assist me in viewing or translating my personnel file, I was taken to the human resource office and was presented with my personnel file.

As expected I was unable to comprehend what documents were in my file only recognizing a few, such as my job application and I-9 form. The company secretary who was there to assist me wrote down the titles of the papers in my file but never explained to me what the documents were in reference to or what they said.

However, the company secretary did make the observation and tell the human resources manager that the documents in my personnel file, some of which were signed by me, appeared to be all in English and I did not comprehend the English language. I was told by human resources that my signature on any documents indicated that I read and understood the document.

As a result, I was given a few copies of some documents, and escorted from human resources. To this day I do not know what the contents were of many of the documents I was shown in my personnel file. Although I have a written list of the titles of some documents in my personnel file that were written down by this company secretary, I feel as if I was not being told the truth as to what some of the unsigned documents were.

I was also confused at to why a personnel file which according to human resources is a 'personal file" was being allowed to be viewed by a company secretary and not my representative whom I requested.

I feel like something is being hidden from me or there is something in my file that the company does not want me to see.

Do I have any recourse<

Thank You Kindly

Maria Huerta
Labor Code 1198.5 is the controlling statute which requires an employer to permit a current or former employee or their "representative" the right to review the employee's personnel file, and to obtain a copy of any document that displays the employee's signature. Refusing to permit your fiance' to assist you was not unlawful. Had you stated that your fiance was your "representative," then the employer would have had to permit your fiance access to the records.

You could have someone who can translate for you, make a new request to review the records, and if the employer refuses to permit the inspection, then you can file a discrimination claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), and DLSE will force the employer to comply.

Hope this helps.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Socrateaser,


I have retained a licensed private investigator in the State of California to act as my representative and assist in my reviewing my personnel file.


 


Do I need to put this in writing and submit it to human resources?


 


Is there a time period I must wait before I am allowed to view my file again?


 


Should I get this document notarized?


 


Thank You


 


Maria Huerta


I have retained a licensed private investigator in the State of California to act as my representative and assist in my reviewing my personnel file.


Do I need to put this in writing and submit it to human resources?


A: Yes.

Is there a time period I must wait before I am allowed to view my file again?


A: No.


Should I get this document notarized?

 

A: Not necessary. However, you may want to send the request by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you have proof of when the request was mailed. That way, fi the employer fails to permit inspection within 30 days, you can file a DLSE complaint for the violation of Labor Code 1198.5.

 

Hope thos helps.

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