I have an employee who resigned verbally and has refused repeated requests to put it in writing. She is asking for a signed, notarized copy of her personnel file. Is the personnel file incomplete without the letter of resignation? She is withholding building keys until she gets her file.
She has a right to a copy of her file as it stood when it was requested and she may request any latter supplements to the file. You can not withhold the information as a way of compelling her to furnish you with a written resignation. However, if you want the file to reflect her resignation you can simply document the verbal resignation by having the recipient make-out a report and place it in the file.
This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.
She has no obligation to provide you with a written document.
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Under the Massachusetts Personnel Records Act, all employers with 20 or more employees must produce a requested personnel file within 5 business days of the request. The request can be oral or written. Failure to comply is punishable by a fine of $500-$2,500. The Act describes what is considered a personnel record.
If she verbally resigned, it is also a good idea to send a letter confirming her resignation and asking her to return the keys. But you can't make the disclosure of her personnel file contingent on her returning the keys.
This information should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
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