Procedures, Records, and Forms
University personnel are responsible for disclosing and withholding disclosure of personnel records in accordance with the following University guidelines.
Personnel records for WSU employees are subject to the public records law, including the Public Records Act (RCW 42.56). For general information regarding the release of University records refer to 90.05.
Personnel records provide information about employees, applicants for employment, and volunteers. NOTE: Certain personnel records are accorded special treatment and greater protection, e.g., reasonable accommodation records, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) records, and medical records.
ACCESS TO RECORDS
Individual's Own Records
An individual employee, applicant, or volunteer has access to any of his or her own personnel records.
Any department holding personnel records is to provide them upon request to the employee who is the subject of the records. The department may contact Human Resource Services and/or Payroll Services for assistance.
The Offices of Human Resource Services (HRS), Payroll Services, and other departments provide access to personnel records in accordance with the following guidelines:
Requests From Within WSU
Any employee may review her or his own personnel record upon showing his or her WSU ID card or upon written request.
Upon written authorization or as otherwise recognized by law, the individual employee, volunteer, or applicant may authorize a representative to access personnel records available to the individual.
Supervisors and administrators may review an individual's personnel record in order to make employment decisions. NOTE: These officials do not have access to medical files or related records unless the individual provides permission or the officials have access as otherwise allowed by law.
Any University employee with a "need to know" associated with WSU business may review personnel files. Such access must be approved in advance by the chair or director of the department holding the records.
Human Resource Services and Payroll Services provide access to personnel records or personally-identifiable information in compliance with the Public Records Act or when otherwise required by law. See also 90.05.
State Officials / Prospective Employers
Personnel and payroll records are open to the inspection of the Washington Personnel Resources Board, the state auditor, and the director of the Department of Personnel or the director's designee in conformance with WAC 357-22-015. Personnel and payroll records are open to inspection of prospective employers subject to limitations set forth in the Public Records Act or otherwise under state or federal law.
For verification of WSU employment, an external requester submits written requests to HRS or Payroll Services. HRS or Payroll Services verifies information provided by the requester, including:
- Dates of employment
- Position title or classification
- Employing department(s)
- Verification of current salary and salary payment history
HRS or Payroll Services does not directly provide employment information without a release from the subject employee.
Immediate supervisors and other University individuals may provide information to prospective employers regarding an individual's performance of duties.
Subpoenas / Court Orders
If the request for a record is based upon a court order or subpoena, telephone the Office of the Attorney General at 335-2636.
Public Records Officer
The public may submit requests to the University's Public Records Officer for personnel records by submitting a Public Records Request. See 90.05.
The University's Public Records Officer is located in the Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms. Direct questions regarding the disclosure of University records to the Public Records Officer; telephone 335-2005; or the Public Records Coordinator, telephone 335-3928.
Departmental personnel should obtain assistance from or refer a request to the Public Records Officer when:
- Unsure whether or not a given record should be released.
- The requester desires access to a large number of records.
- The requester desires access to records from several University departments.
For Academic Research
Access to personnel records may be granted for legitimate academic research provided that:
- Research procedures and the reporting of findings do not violate the individual's privacy as protected by state or federal law and the information is otherwise accessible pursuant to state and federal law.
- Names are not included in the study or in any way linked with the data.
- Case histories or records are sufficiently disguised to prevent identification of the individuals involved.
- Researchers obtain the individual's written permission if individual identification occurs.
- Researchers comply with the policies and procedures in 45.50 regarding human subjects.