I am involved in a work comp case in which I am FORCED to represent myself because all the lawyers said it wouldn't be worth their time. In any case, I wrote to my old school district to get a copy of my employment file and they did not respond at all to my request because they were waiting for their lawyer to respond to them about my request. It's been more than 30 days.
I thought I have a right to my employment records. What laws apply to this? They said that the records are not public information. I'm not sure that's entirely true. Do they just get to do whatever they want because they are a school district? I was hoping I wouldn't have to subpoena the records.
Go to your local Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (that's the court system for WC cases) and talk to the information and assistance officer. They can show you how to issue a subpoena duces tecum (court order) for the records.
Mr Borah has given you good advice.There are resources available for people that don't have an attorney and previous postings here have made it clear that they can be very helpful.
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Labor Code Section 1198.5 states:
(a) Every current and former employee, or his or her
representative, has the right to inspect and receive a copy of the
personnel records that the employer maintains relating to the
employee's performance or to any grievance concerning the employee.
(b) (1) The employer shall make the contents of those personnel
records available for inspection to the current or former employee,
or his or her representative, at reasonable intervals and at
reasonable times, but not later than 30 calendar days from the date
the employer receives a written request, unless the current or former
employee, or his or her representative, and the employer agree in
writing to a date beyond 30 calendar days to inspect the records, and
the agreed-upon date does not exceed 35 calendar days from the
employer's receipt of the written request. Upon a written request
from a current or former employee, or his or her representative, the
employer shall also provide a copy of the personnel records, at a
charge not to exceed the actual cost of reproduction, not later than
30 calendar days from the date the employer receives the request,
unless the current or former employee, or his or her representative,
and the employer agree in writing to a date beyond 30 calendar days
to produce a copy of the records, as long as the agreed-upon date
does not exceed 35 calendar days from the employer's receipt of the
written request. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision
(c), the employer is not required to make those personnel records or
a copy thereof available at a time when the employee is actually
required to render service to the employer, if the requester is the
(2) (A) For purposes of this section, a request to inspect or
receive a copy of personnel records shall be made in either of the
(i) Written and submitted by the current or former employee or his
or her representative.
(ii) Written and submitted by the current or former employee or
his or her representative by completing an employer-provided form.
(B) An employer-provided form shall be made available to the
employee or his or her representative upon verbal request to the
employee's supervisor or, if known to the employee or his or her
representative at the time of the request, to the individual the
employer designates under this section to receive a verbal request
for the form.
You may want to refer to that code section in its entirety, and write a written request for your personnel file, listing Labor Code Section 1198.5 as your authority, and see if that gets them to comply.
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Mr. Borah has advised you well. The Information and Assistance officer is paid to help unrepresented applicants in situations such as yours.
You would need to file a motion to compel the School to send you the records. You can find sample motion online. Take it to court and have an I&A officer help you file it with the WCAB. Best of luck.
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