Personnel Record Keeping-HR @ Carnegie Mellon University - Carnegie Mellon University

Personnel Record Keeping

Personnel records are the property of the university and should be inventoried and managed like any other university asset. As a manager, it is your responsibility to maintain a personnel record for each of your employees. Use the Personnel Record Checklist [pdf] to ensure that each individual who reports to you has a complete personnel record.


Current staff members may review their personnel record by making an appointment with Human Resources. Appointments are scheduled any business day between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Human Resources office. You will be asked to show identification in order to access your record. Former staff members may review their personnel records for up to 60 days after their date of termination.


University personnel records are confidential to the employee and the university. They will not be released to anyone outside the university unless the employee supplies a notarized written statement releasing the record (or a part of it), or unless required by law. Personnel records should be kept in a secured, locked area.

What to Keep in a Personnel Record

The following documents should be a part of an employee’s personnel record:

  • Signed and dated offer letter
  • Wage or salary information
  • Notices of commendation, warning or discipline
  • Performance evaluations and reviews
  • Attendance and Paid Time Off records
  • Changes in job title, job description, job classification or supervisor

The following documents should not be a part of an employee’s personnel record and must be maintained separately by the university’s Benefits and Payroll departments respectively:

  • Benefits information
  • Medical information or doctor's notes
  • Authorization for deduction or withholding of pay
  • I-9 Form and supporting documentation
  • W-4 Form or other tax forms
  • Internal or external investigations/claims of any kind

Removing Items from a Record

At the written request of an employee, records of disciplinary actions (e.g., warnings, notices of suspension or probation) that are more than five years old may be removed from the employee’s personnel record. Requests may be made to Human Resources.  See the Staff Handbook for more information.