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New Virginia Law Requires Employer Disclosure of Requested Personnel Records

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R. Douglas Taylor, Jr.
October 3, 2019

A quick heads up for those Virginia employers whose policy has been to deny employees access to or copies of their employment records. As of July 1, 2019, Virginia law now requires employers to “furnish a copy of all records or papers retained by the employer in any format” that reflect the following information about the employee:

The law contains a narrow caveat to production of employment records, if the employee’s file contains a written attestation from a medical provider that production of the records to the employee may endanger the life or safety of the employee or a third party.  Production in this case still must be made to the employee’s attorney or an authorized insurer.

The new law is applicable to a request made by current employee, former employee or the employee’s attorney. Employers are required to provide a response within 30 days of the request date, or notice to the employee if there is a reason that the records cannot be provided within the 30-day response window.   

Willful non-compliance with the new law may result in the employee being awarded all expenses incurred in compelling production of relevant personnel records, including court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.