HR0130 – Personnel Files and Release of Information

Effective: January 1, 2000
Revision No: 7
Required Items With Permanent Retention Period Procedures

To assure that accurate and complete personnel data are maintained, that individual employees are afforded an opportunity to see that their records reflect such standards, and that the release of information from personnel files is adequately monitored.


  1. Each campus human resources office shall maintain official personnel files on every employee.
  2. Under state law, personnel records are considered public records and may be inspected, extracted, or copied by any citizen of Tennessee during business hours, in accordance with reasonable rules of the office having custody of such records. However, the law provides confidentiality for certain information, and this information should, whenever possible, be redacted from the personnel file prior to public disclosure. These records are:
    1. Unpublished telephone numbers
    2. Bank account information
    3. Social security number
    4. Driver's license information (except where driving or operating a vehicle is part of the employee's job description or job duties or incidental to job performance)
    5. Any of the above information on the employee's immediate family or household members.
  3. The inability to redact the records is not a basis for denying access to a file. The complete personnel record remains accessible to law enforcement agencies, courts, or other governmental agencies performing official functions.
  4. A procedure should be developed by each campus human resources office to assure that employees are informed about records maintained about them and to permit them, upon request, to review the material. A procedure should also be developed by each campus human resources office to monitor the release of information contained in personnel files.
  5. As a minimum, personnel files must be maintained with the following documents. This list applies to files maintained for all employees if applicable to the employee or classification.

Required Items With Permanent Retention Period[top]

  • Age verification of minors
  • Annual or sick leave transfer documentation from other agencies
  • Application
  • Appointment, job offer, agreement, or acceptance letter
  • Authorization of disclosure
  • Certified Administrative Professional Secretary (CAP) Exam or Notice of Completion or Performance Report
  • Discharge letters or notices
  • Disciplinary action memos, forms, notations, or letters
  • Employee death information or correspondence
  • Flex-year forms
  • Immigration Reform Employment Eligibility Authorization form I-9
  • Leave Records (Per 12s) from prior years (monthly payroll)
  • License or certificate if required for the job
  • Personnel Action Forms (PAFs), Personnel Information Forms (PIFs), and other prior personnel forms
  • Probationary Period form
  • Recognition memos, forms, notations, or letters
  • Reduction-in-force or recall notices
  • Records of persons reviewing the file
  • Resume

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