Other Policies

Procedure 80: Staff Personnel Records

This UCI Personnel Procedure is being revised.
Please contact your Human Resources Business Partner for guidance and

Responsible Office: Human Resources
March 2014

A. References

State of California Information Practices Act of 1977 (IPA)

Personnel Policies for Staff Members

UC Business and Finance Bulletin

  • RMP-7, Privacy of and Access to Information Responsibilities
  • RMP-8, Legal Requirements on Privacy of and Access to Information
  • RMP-9, Guidelines for Access to University Personnel Records by Governmental Agencies

UC Records Retention Schedule

UCI Administrative Policies & Procedures

  • Section 700-11, Guidelines on Subpoena, Subpoena Duces Tecum, and Deposition Subpoena
  • Section 720-10, Information from Public Records (California Public Records Act) - Guidelines
  • Section 720-11, Privacy of and Access to Information (Excluding Student Records) - Guidelines
  • Section 721-10, Records Management Guidelines


B. Authority and Responsibility

As a Records Proprietor, Human Resources determines the types of records that will be created to support the administration of staff personnel business processes. Human Resources provides copies of staff personnel records in response to legal demands received by University business offices such as the Public Records Office or Materiel and Risk Management. Human Resources is also responsible for ensuring that the campus is in compliance with all relevant University policies and procedures related to staff personnel records.

As a Records Custodian, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) is responsible for maintaining the Employee Records Online (ERO) system which houses images of the personnel and payroll records of staff employees and the payroll records of academic employees. OIT is responsible for the security systems that protect and manage access to personnel records, granting access to employees whose job duties require frequent access to personnel records. OIT is also responsible for the disposition of electronic personnel records in accordance with the UC Records Retention Schedule.

As a Records Custodian, the eDocs scanning unit in the Administrative Policies and Records Office is responsible for securely maintaining all paper personnel records during the scanning process and for ongoing management of certain paper records retained in personnel/payroll files. The eDocs scanning unit is also responsible for the disposition of paper personnel records in accordance with the UC Records Retention Schedule.

C. Definitions

  1. Record Owners
    1. Records Proprietor - The department with management responsibility for the records associated with a staff administrative function. Human Resources is the Records Proprietor for staff personnel records.
    2. Records Custodian - The individual or department with responsibility for a repository of records. OIT and the eDocs scanning unit are the Records Custodians for staff personnel records.
  2. Personnel Records - Any record, in any format, that documents the employment relationship between an individual and the University and that is directly related to the employee’s job.
  3. Employee Records Online (ERO) system - The document imaging system used to maintain the official personnel and payroll records of staff employees. The system also maintains the payroll records of academic employees.
  4. State of California Information Practices Act of 1977 (IPA) - This law provides measures to assure the privacy of individuals, and states in part:
    • (1) "The Legislature declares that the right to privacy is a personal and fundamental right protected by Section 1, Article 1 of the Constitution of California and by the United States Constitution and that all individuals have the right of privacy in information pertaining to themselves. The Legislature further makes the following findings:
      • (a) The right to privacy is being threatened by the indiscriminate collection, maintenance, and dissemination of personal information and by the lack of effective laws and legal remedies.
      • (b) The increasing use of computers and other sophisticated information technology has greatly magnified the potential risk to individual privacy that can occur from maintaining records of personal information.
      • (c) In order to protect the privacy of individuals, it is necessary that the maintenance and dissemination of personal information be subject to strict guidelines."

D. Guidelines

  1. Content of Personnel Records

    Typical records include those pertaining to salary and appointments, performance management, benefits, payroll/time reporting, leaves and hiring documents, such as the job application, job description, State Oath and I-9 form.

    Records that are not directly related to the employee's job, but are used to obtain or update personal information (e.g., birthdate, home address, or phone number) may be included in the records system. Personnel records do not include draft versions of documents or other records that are transitory in nature.

    Personnel records must be accurate, relevant, complete and timely prepared. Unit managers must ensure that personnel records are properly secured and stored in a locked file, separate from public access, until they are forwarded for scanning.

  2. Employee Records Online (ERO) system

    Personnel records are generally created in paper form and then scanned for retention in the ERO system image repository. Unit managers must ensure that all staff personnel records are properly prepared for scanning and are forwarded to the eDocs scanning unit in a secure file transfer envelope within 30 days of their creation. Personnel documents that require review or approval are forwarded to the eDocs scanning unit within 30 days of their completion. All original documents must be sent to the scanning unit; no copies are to be maintained in the unit.

    The eDocs scanning unit is responsible for maintaining proper document control procedures during the scanning, storage and shredding processes. The scanning unit verifies the employee name, identification number, and document category for each document scanned, and uploads the scanned images and identification data to the ERO system.

    The eDocs scanning unit is also responsible for maintaining paper personnel/payroll files, including a subset of personnel records that must be retained by the University in their original paper form. The documents maintained in paper form include employment agreements, I-9 forms, Oath and Patent forms, signed job applications, Visa documentation, mortgage and loan agreements, and W4 forms.

  3. Access to Scanned Personnel Records

    The ERO system includes images of personnel and payroll records. Access to view those records is limited to employees with a job-related need (e.g., department managers, payroll/personnel processors, central Human Resources and central Payroll). Each authorized user is assigned one of several pre-defined roles which allows access to a specific subset of personnel records. Users may retrieve and view the records of employees with appointments in their organizational unit. (See the ERO System Roles and Access Rights.)

    Staff in central Human Resources and Payroll have unique access rights to view campus personnel records based on their work function. Staff in campus units outside of these central offices may be assigned management level access if designated as a Campus Personnel Officer (CPO) or may be assigned transactional level access if designated as a Payroll/Personnel Processor (PPS).

    Unit managers in central offices and other campus units are responsible for identifying the employees who require access to the ERO system and their level of access. Completed access request forms, signed by the department head, are to be submitted to the Administrative Policies and Records office. (See Request for Access to Restricted Data for PPS Users or the Request for Access to Restricted Data for VC/Dean/Director/Manager. Department managers may use the tools in the ERO system to grant access to supervisors and other personnel to view a document, based on a job-related need.

    ERO system access requests forms prepared on behalf of managers or assistant deans must be signed by the position to whom those employees report (e.g., the chair, dean, director).

  4. Access to Personnel Records by the Public

    For definitions relating to "public records," refer to RMP-8.

    For guidelines to access to personnel records by governmental agencies, refer to RMP-9.

    For instructions on accepting subpoenas duces tecum and deposition subpoenas, refer to UCI Administrative Policies & Procedures, Section 700-11.

    Information deemed public that may be released upon request is limited to:

    • Name
    • Current salary
    • Date of hire
    • Date of separation
    • Position title, appointment type and job description
    • Full-time or part-time
    • Campus unit assignment, including office address and phone number

    Information deemed personal that may not be released to the public includes, but is not limited to:

    • Birth date
    • Citizenship status
    • Health care records
    • Home address
    • Income tax withholdings
    • Performance evaluation information
    • Phone numbers, cell and home
    • Social Security Number
    • Spouse’s or other relatives’ names

    Requests by the public for employment verifications are directed to the UCI Payroll Office.

  5. Employees’ Access to Their Personnel Records

    Employees may review their personnel records by submitting a written request to Human Resources.

    The University reserves the right to redact information before providing copies to an employee in order to comply with information privacy laws and policies.

    Records protected by legal privilege and those exempted from disclosure by law may be withheld from the employee. Examples of records protected by legal privilege and exempted from disclosure by the Information Practices Act are letters of reference and records of an investigation underway at the time of the request.

    For specific information regarding employees’ access to their personnel records and their right to correct or amend their personnel records, refer to RMP-8.

  6. Records Related to Disciplinary Actions

    Copies of delivered disciplinary action letters and related proofs of service are part of the personnel record, as are comments written by the employee regarding such letters.

    With the exception of performance evaluations, documents regarding disciplinary actions, conduct or work performance, counseling memoranda, or written records of discussions will, upon the written request of the employee, be removed from the employee's personnel record if there have been no other disciplinary actions and letters or memoranda relating to the same or similar issues for a period of two years. Human Resources has the authority to delete electronic records in the ERO system upon receipt of the written request. .

  7. Personnel Record for a Separated or Transfer Employee

    The personnel records of an employee who separates from UCI or transfers to another UC location will be maintained in the ERO system archive and in the paper personnel/payroll files for the prescribed period of time, then permanently deleted. If the employee returns to employment with UCI during the archival period, the personnel records will be returned to the active employee database and active paper file system, and additional employee records will be appended to the files.

  8. Records Retention Period

    Personnel records are to be maintained in accordance with the retention period set forth in the UC Records Retention Schedule. Personnel policies and union contracts provide guidelines for retention of corrective or disciplinary actions.

    The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is responsible for the retention and disposition of employee records maintained in the ERO system. The eDocs scanning unit is responsible for the retention and disposition of the paper employee documents.

  9. Questions and Legal Requirements

    The Chancellor has designated the campus Information Practices Coordinator in the Public Records Office to respond to questions regarding the privacy of and access to personnel records.

E. Applicability

All staff members, including employees in career, casual restricted, limited and contract appointments.