University of California, Berkeley

What should NOT be in the Official Personnel File?

Personnel files should only include items that are related to an employee's job or employment status.

Examples of items that should not be included in the personnel file are:

  • Pre-employment records (with the exception of the application and resume)
  • Monthly attendance transaction documents
  • Whistleblower complaints, notes generated from informal discrimination complaint investigations, Ombuds, or Campus Climate
  • Records related to the resolution of the grievance, complaint, or allegation unless they are normally a required part of the official personnel file
  • Medical information, including medical records or correspondence related to any medical condition of the employee or the employee's family
  • Supervisor's working files
  • Marginal notes on documents that reflect opinions or judgments that are not supported by fact or documentation
  • Court orders such as notices of garnishment or restraining orders
  • I-9 Forms: Completion of this document is federally mandated for every employee hired after November 6, 1986. The original I-9 Form must be sent within 3 business days of an employee's start date to: Human Resources-Records and Data Management, 2199 Addison St., Room 192 (University Hall), Berkeley, CA 94704-3540.

If a department chooses to keep a copy of the I-9 form, it must not reside in an employee's personnel file. Any copies of I-9 forms must be maintained separate and apart from personnel files. If a government agency with authority to view I-9 forms conducts an audit of I-9 forms, the audit will occur in the Office of Record in Central Human Resources.