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Wisconsin law requires that an employer provide an employee, upon his or her request, with a copy of the employee’s file, also called a “personnel file.” A Wisconsin employer must provide the personnel file to current and former employees upon their request.
In Wisconsin, an employer is required by law (Wis. Stat. §103.13):
Also understand that you are not required to be subjected to harassment on the basis of gender, race, religion, disability or age. If you believe you are being harassed on those grounds, a lawsuit could be pursued.
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If you are a Wisconsin worker and want your employer or former employer to give you copies of your personnel file documents (or give you a chance to review the file at the employer’s premises), you should consider writing a letter that simply asks for a copy of your personnel file, or for access to the file.
If your first written request does not work (most of the time it will), then you can consider writing a second letter that (1) repeats the request for your personnel file documents; and (2) states the law (“Wis. Stat. §103.13”) that requires the employer provide you with the documents.
Please note that the context of your request makes a difference, and your request should be polite no matter what the context. For example, if an employer fires an employee, and two days later the employee writes a letter stating “I want copies of all my records BECAUSE THEY WILL PROVE YOU ARE LYING!!!!!” this sort of request will obviously not go over well, and will tip the employer off that the employee may have intentions to pursue a dispute or litigation.
Your communications with the employer should always be polite. If requesting the documentation at a particular time (e.g. right after you’ve been disciplined) will tip the employer off that you have concerns about your employment (and you don’t want the employer to know you are examining those concerns), you may considering waiting for a better time, if possible
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