Personnel Records

Policy No:  8.43
Type of Policy:  Administrative
Last Revised:  December 2010
Review Date:  December 2016
Policy Owner:  Human Resources
Contact Name:  Shalonda Cargill
Contact Title:  Special Asst to the Chief OHR
Contact Email:  shalonda.cargill@ohr.gatech.edu
Reason for Policy: 

Due to the confidential nature of certain information contained in the personnel files, access to these records is restricted to authorized personnel and to other individuals only in accordance with Institute policy and federal/state laws. Removing documents from a personnel file is prohibited and is a major rule violation.

Policy Statement: 

The Human Resources Records Office maintains the official personnel record for all faculty, staff and student employees who are paid through the Institute’s Payroll Office. The personnel records consist of paper, digital, and microfiche and are stored in a restricted area within the Human Resources Office. These records are the property of The Georgia Institute of Technology.

Scope: 

Entities Affected By This Policy

All faculty, staff, and student employees at the Georgia Institute of Technology should be aware of this policy.

Who Should Read This Policy

All faculty, staff, and student employees at the Georgia Institute of Technology should be aware of this policy.

Procedures: 

Overview

The personnel file may contain documents including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Personal Services Form to hire, change status, retire, or terminate employment
  • Personal Data Form listing personal, educational, and other information related to the employee
  • Board of Regents Security Questionnaire/Loyalty Oath
  • Employment Agreement
  • Payroll Authorization Agreement for Automatic Deposits, pay increases
  • Federal W-4 and State G-4 Withholding Forms
  • Garnishments, Tax Levy, Subpoenas, court ordered documentation
  • Benefits elections, retirement information, beneficiary information
  • Recognition letters from the Institute’s President
  • Award letters
  • Letters of Offer, acceptance, commendation, resignation
  • Performance Reviews, written reprimands
  • Separation notices
  • Certificate of Degree
  • Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs)
  • Flexwork agreements
  • Employment application, resume/curriculum vitae

Placing Information into the Personnel File

Materials may be placed into the personnel files only in accordance with policies and procedures established by the Institute. Correspondence relating to job performance or other such matters between a supervisor and an employee may be placed into the employee’s file under the following conditions:

  • Evidence that a copy has been provided to the supervisor and the employee.
  • A signature or stamp from the Performance and Talent Management Unit of Human Resources confirming their review and approval for the document to be placed into the personnel file.
  • The document clearly shows that a copy has been sent to the Performance and Talent Management Unit of Human Resources and to the employee’s personnel file in Human Resources.

This procedure ensures that all parties involved are appropriately informed of such matters, thereby fostering an open and constructive relationship between management and employees at Georgia Tech.

Note: Employees are not authorized to place information into their own personnel files.

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification

A Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Form must be completed by all employees’ citizens and noncitizens hired after November 6, 1986. The United States Department of Homeland Security requires employers to document each new employee hired after November 6, 1986, is authorized to work in the United States.

The Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification is maintained in the Office of Human Resources Records Department and is stored securely in a separate filing system. The Form I-9 is retained for three years after an employee is hired or for one year after an employee terminates his/her employment, whichever is longer.

File Review

File reviews are by appointment only and require a 24-hour advance notice. You may email your request to any staff member in the Records Department. File reviews can be initiated by an employee reviewing his/her personnel file. Department managers/supervisors are allowed to review the performance reviews of their direct reports. Department managers, supervisors and HR Representatives/Contacts are allowed to review the performance reviews of job applicants external to their department upon consideration of being hired. HR Representatives and Contacts are permitted to review files of the employees within their unit that they represent. In all cases, photo identification must be presented at the time of the review and a Records Office Staff member will monitor the review process to ensure the integrity of the file.

An employee may obtain copies of documents from his/her personnel file. There is no charge for the first ten pages, but there is a fee of $.25 per additional page, payable by check only made to the order of Georgia Tech.

Updating Personal Information

It is important to keep personal information up to date and employees are encouraged to use the Employee Self Service tool that is available to all Georgia Tech employees and which allows an employee to access and update their personal information such as name, home address, home telephone number, emergency contacts, etc. The Employee Self Service tool can be accessed by logging onto Techworks at:http://techworks.gatech.edu.

Employment Verification

The Records Office responds only to inquiries made in writing through fax or US mail. Standard information such as employment dates, job title, and work department are provided. Salary information requires a signed consent form from the employee and can be found online at: http://www.ohr.gatech.edu/records. Requests to verify employment should be faxed to: (404) 385-0765 or mailed to: Georgia Tech-Office of Human Resources Records Office, 500 Tech Parkway, Atlanta Georgia 30332-0435.

Legal Requests

All legal requests are coordinated through Georgia Tech’s Office of Legal Affairs; these requests include subpoenas, attorney requests, or Open Records Act requests. The Records Office complies with such requests as advised by the Office of Legal Affairs. The entire personnel file or limited information within the personnel file may be requested or subpoenaed through the courts and on the advisement of the Office of Legal Affairs, the relevant records are retrieved, assembled and forwarded to the Office of Legal Affairs for final handling.

Requests for legal assistance should be sent to: asklegal@gatech.edu. The Office of Legal Affairs is located at: 760 Spring Street, N.W., Suite 324; Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0495.

Georgia Open Records Act (ORA)

As a state university, Georgia Tech is subject to the provisions of The Georgia Open Records Act. The Open Records Act provides that all citizens are entitled to review the records of state agencies on request and to make copies for a fee. The Open Records Act requires that Georgia Tech produce public documents within three business days.

Georgia Tech’s Office of Legal Affairs has been designated by the President of the Institute to respond to ORA requests. Once the Records Office receives an ORA request, the Office of Legal Affairs is immediately notified. The Records Custodian coordinates with the appointed attorney and determines what information may or may not be released under the ORA and to ensure a response to the request within three business days as required by law.

The information listed below is excluded from the Act and will not be released:

  • Social Security Numbers
  • Birthdates
  • Medical information
  • Insurance information
  • Bank account information
  • Credit card and debit card account information
  • Financial information
  • Mother's birth name
  • Home addresses
  • Telephone numbers

Georgia Tech charges twenty-five cents ($0.10) per page for any copies in addition to the costs of search, retrieval, redaction, and re-filing.

Regulatory Agencies/Law Enforcement

Georgia Tech allows federal and state regulatory agencies to review employee personnel records. A few of the agencies that request services from the Human Records Office are:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigations
  • The Georgia Bureau of Investigations
  • The Office of Personnel Management
  • The Department of Defense
  • The Department of State
  • The Georgia Department of Human Resources
  • The Georgia Department of Corrections
  • The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles
  • The Georgia Department of Labor
  • Law Enforcement Officers from various Georgia counties

Typically an agent will arrive in person and request to review a record on a current or past employee. The employee may be a candidate for employment through a state or government agency or the individual’s employment may be contingent upon securing a security clearance. Inquiries may also be a result due to criminal investigations. Each agent is required by their agency to inform us each time they review a record of the Privacy Act of 1974 as mandated by the federal government. An agent may call or fax a request prior to arriving in person.

When a review is requested, the agent must:

Present ID upon arrival in the Customer Service Center (CSC) and inform the staff of the reason for the visit.

  • The CSC staff reviews the ID and notifies the Records Office of the request and allows the agent access to proceed to the file room.
  • The agent must present their ID and a signed release from the individual(s) whose file has been requested for review.
  • The agent is required to complete an Employee File Review Log. The log lists the agent’s name, the employee’s name, and the reason for the review.
  • The file is pulled for the agent’s review. The agent has full access to all information contained in the personnel file pertaining to the employee, the employee’s spouse, children, birthdates, social security numbers, addresses, beneficiary information, statements of health, garnishments, etc.

The Employee File Review Log and a copy of the signed release are maintained on file in the Records Office.

 

Responsibilities: 

The responsibilities each party has in connection with Personnel Records are:

PartyResponsibility
  Office of Human Resources, Records  Offer assistance with policy interpretation, administer policy, and ensure compliance.