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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37683
Experience:  30+ years legal experience and I keep current in Employment Law through regular continuing education.
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how can I have access to employment records from a former company

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how can I have access to employment records from a former company I worked?
Good afternoon,

What state did you work in?
Have you asked for them?
What need to you have for them now that you no longer are employed there?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Worked in Missouri. Company based in Texas.

I asked a representative from HR and she said I cannot get the information I requested without pursuing legal means.

I want to review my personnel file, with statements from a previous manager. I have reason to believe he documented false and misleading infomation about me, which is why I was deemed to be not eligible for rehire.

Good afternoon,

Very few states have laws which allow employees access to their personnel records. In Texas, only public employees have an absolute right to their records and that is only if they request them pursuant to the Public Information Act.

If you believe that you have been defamed, you can file suit against the person who defamed you and serve a subpoena on your prior employer for the records you believe are evidence of the defamation.

Short of that, you can not compel the company to provide the records I'm afraid.

I wish you the best in your future

Best regards,


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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

So what you are telling me is that I have to file a defamation of character and/or slander against the manager I believe to be the perpetrator and any supervisor who signed off on the paperwork? This may allow me to have access to the records but not necessarily?


This would be a civil claim and I can ask for compensatory and punitive damages against him (and supervisors who approved the documentation) personally? Could I also add the company as a joint defendent?

Good afternoon,

That will in all likelihood allow you full access to your entire personnel file in discovery.

You can ask for both compensatory and punitive/exemplary damages in a defamation case, yes.

The company as an entity did not slander you. I suspect that they would win on summary judgment and you would be stuck owing them court costs. You can only sue the individuals who actually defamed you.

I wish you well.

Best regards,

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for the responses.


Few more things.


If I name my former manager and his boss in the initial suit, shouldn't I also name the company, so that HR gets notice and I can get quicker access to the records. I say this because I could see them pointing the finger to HR about how they cannot release the records without HR (and legal) consent..., thus stalling proceedings.


In terms of the company being named, what if I had recorded statements from the representative in HR who refused to be present during meetings with my manager when I brought it to her attention he was falsifying accounts of our meetings? Could the company be held liable for negligence in that case because she failed to perform her job?


I would assume I would not have to establish an amount in the initial suit against my former manager(s) and the company, especially until I see what is in my personnel records.

Good morning,

I would not name the company in a defamation case. If you want to however, you may.

Local court rules may force you to state the amount of damages you are seeking when you file your lawsuit.

If you are not filing in small claims court I'd strongly suggest that you get an experienced attorney to represent you.

I wish you well.

Best regards,


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