Title 28
Labor and Labor Relations

Chapter 6.4
Inspection of Personnel Files

R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-6.4-1

§ 28-6.4-1. Inspection of files.

(a)(1) Every employer shall, upon not less than seven (7) days’ advance notice, holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays excluded, and at any reasonable time other than the employee’s work hours and upon the written request of an employee, permit an employee to inspect personnel files that are used or have been used to determine that employee’s qualifications for employment, promotion, additional compensation, termination, or disciplinary action. This inspection shall be made in the presence of an employer or employer’s designee.

(2) The employee shall not be permitted to make any copies of nor remove his or her personnel file from the immediate place of inspection located on the business premises.

(3) The employer may charge the employee a fee reasonably related to the cost of supplying copies of requested documents.

(4) This section does not apply to records of an employee relating to the investigation of a possible criminal offense or records prepared for use in any civil, criminal, or grievance proceedings, any letter of reference, recommendations, managerial records kept or used only by the employer, confidential reports from previous employers, and managerial planning records.

(b) Employers are not required to permit an inspection of any employee’s personnel file or records on more than three (3) occasions in any calendar year.

(c) An employer that, upon request by a prospective employer or a current or former employee, provides fair and unbiased information about a current or former employee’s job performance is presumed to be acting in good faith and is immune from civil liability for the disclosure and the consequences of the disclosure. The presumption of good faith is rebuttable upon a showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the information disclosed was:

(1) Knowingly false;

(2) Deliberately misleading;

(3) Disclosed for a malicious purpose; or

(4) Violative of the current or former employee’s civil rights under the employment discrimination laws in effect at the time of the disclosure.

History of Section.
P.L. 1986, ch. 43, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 302, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 195, § 1.