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Personnel files — Texas

Most of the information collected by employers should be kept in a confidential manner. Employers should designate only a few individuals to have access to company personnel files and the files should be kept in a locked cabinet. Under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employee-medical information may not be used in making employment decisions and any medical information must be kept separately from other personnel records.

There are no federal or Texas laws that dictate what must be kept in an employee’s personnel file. The contents of personnel files are likely to vary widely by industry or business. Basic information should likely include:

  • employment applications
  • performance evaluations
  • attendance records
  • disciplinary records
  • insurance election forms
  • employer handbook receipts
  • necessary tax forms, such as IRS W-4s
  • payroll information.

Texas courts have defined employment records to include all records and notes the employer has regarding the employee. As such, supervisor’s notes and desk files are technically employment records. 

Medical information of any kind must not be kept in an employee’s personnel file. This restriction includes...

Please call us at (312) 960-9400 if this is an error or if you have any questions.