A former employee sent a letter requesting my company to provide them a complete copy of his personnel file and payroll records, however the address he mailed to is not the address for my company but a subsidiary of my company, that is how my company got hold of the letter. Does my company has the obligation to comply even when the address he mailed to is not my company’s address?
You should give your employee the requested records. Labor Code 226(c) provides that "an employer who receives a written or oral request to inspect or receive a copy of records ... shall comply with the request as soon as practicable, but no later than 21 calendar days from the date of the request. A violation of this subdivision is an infraction." You may be fined for failing to provide the records. I understand that it wasn't technically sent you, but do you really want to argue over a small technicality like that? Besides, if she's asking for records, she's probably talking to a lawyer, and failure to provide requested records is likely the least of your worries. If she wasn't paid in compliance with Labor Code requirements, you'll probably be sued and failure to provide requested records will just be one of many causes of actions against you.
You need to get specific, confidential advice about this situation right away, and a short answer on a public Q&A site is not the way you should get advice for the governance of your business. There is more going on here, given the request, and you need to get in front of this before it turns into a very substantial business expense.
Good luck to you.
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First, I would not hang my hat on such a "weak" technical argument. After all, you received it. If you fail to comply, you can owe $1,500 in statutory damages plus reasonable attorney's fees.
Second, you need to consult with counsel to figure out what the underlying issues are and how to protect your business, since it appears a lawsuit is headed your way.
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