California Labor Codes Section 1198.5 requires employers to provide access and inspection of personnel files to all current and prior employees, with the exception of Public Safety Officers whose rights related to personnel files are captured in Public Safety Officer Procedural Bill of Rights.
The employer is not necessarily required to provide a copy but many employers will make copies at your expense with a reasonable advanced request.
The employer must allow access at reasonable intervals and at reasonable times, however, the employer is not required to make such records available during times the employee is performing services for the employer.
The right to access and inspect records do not include records regarding those related to the investigation of a possible crime; letters of reference, ratings, documents and records obtained prior to employment; those prepared by an identifiable examination committee, including those in connection with a promotional examination. Violation of Labor Code Section 1198.5 is a misdemeanor and may be subject to substantial fines.
Contact our office or your Labor Representative if you believe your rights have been violated.