Requesting Personnel Records in Washington

Washington law requires employers to make an employee’s personnel records available within a reasonable time after the employee makes a request.  Current or former employees can request their personnel records once a year. Generally, the personnel records must be made available within 10 business days after the request is made. The types of documents that count as “personnel records” is broad, and includes the following:

  • records regularly maintained by the employer as part of the company’s business records
  • records subject to reference for information given to persons outside the company
  • documents containing employees’ qualifications
  • verification of training completed
  • signed job descriptions
  • supervisor’s files
  • all performance evaluations and letters of commendation or reprimand
  • salary, sick and vacation leave hours
  • summaries of benefits and other similar information
  • other records of employment

When making a request for personnel records, we often keep it short and to the point, while making sure that the employer is aware that the records are more than what happens to be stored in an employee’s personnel file.  Here is an example:

Dear Company,

I am requesting a copy of my personnel records pursuant to RCW 49.12.250.  Within 10 business days of the date of this request, please send me the contents of my personnel file and the following:

  • records regularly maintained as part of your business records
  • records subject to reference for information given to persons outside your company
  • documents containing or reflecting my qualifications
  • verification of any or all training I completed
  • any or all of my job descriptions
  • my supervisor’s files on me
  • all my performance evaluations, commendations, or reprimands 
  • my salary, sick and vacation leave hours
  • summaries of my benefits and other similar information
  • other records or communications related to my employment

You can email me the personnel records at name@domain.com or mail them to the following address:

Name
Address
City, State Zip

Sincerely,
Name

If the employer does not provide your personnel records, you can file a complaint with the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, which is available at 866-219-7321.

Klein Munsinger LLC is a law firm located in Portland, Oregon which focusses on employment law matters in Oregon and Washington.  You can learn more about the firm here, or you can contact us at connect@kleinmunsinger.com  or 503-568-1078.

The contents of this page are not legal advice, and an attorney-client relationship with Klein Munsinger LLC is only formed when a written retainer agreement is signed. 

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