Until now, in Virginia only government employees had a right to access information in their personnel records. A new Virginia law will now require employers in the private sector to provide current or former employees with copies of certain employment-related documents upon request.
Effective July 1, 2019, employers in Virginia must provide a copy of certain limited employment documents to employees upon receipt of a written request from the employee, the employee’s attorney or an authorized insurer. The law applies to both current and former employees, and allows an employer 30 days to produce the documents after receipt of the request.
The new law requires an employer to provide “all records or papers retained by the employer” reflecting: (i) the employee’s dates of employment; (ii) the employee’s wages or salary during the employment; (iii) the employee’s job description and title during the employment; and (iv) any injuries sustained by the employee during the course of employment with the employer.
A reasonable fee may be charged by the employer for the cost of producing the employment records. If the employer cannot provide the records within 30 days of receiving the employee’s request, then it must notify the employee in writing of the reason for the delay and produce the records within 30 days of providing such notice to the employee.
This new law will likely be applied primarily in the context of litigation involving personal injuries, but could be involved in other contexts such as employment disputes. It should be emphasized, however, that the new law does not apply to all personnel records, but only involves a limited category of documents.