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Must former employer provide me copy of personal file?

Swansea, MA |

I believe that my former employer defamed me and caused me to be terminated by my new employer 3 days into training in the new position. If there is nothing negative in my personal file then is it illegal for the former employer to discourage new employer to hire me? Can former employer amke accusations without documentation? I have asked for a copy of my personal file to see what could possibly be in there that could have been used against me.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Yes. Under M.G.L. c. 149 Section 52C an employer or previous employer must make your personnel records available for your review, and may not charge you any more than a reasonable amount to copy the full file.

    What I usually do is send a demand for the file by certified mail, to be received by my office no later than 14 days after their receipt of the request.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.


  2. Make sure you make a written request for your personnel file. Under the law, the employer must provide it to you within 10 days of receipt of the written request.