Title

3.8 Employment Records

3.8.1 Privacy Protection Study Commission

The following policies and procedures reflect the College’s high regard for the confidentiality of employee data. These policies and procedures are based on the recommendations of the Privacy Protection Study Commission established under the Privacy Act of 1974 to study the creation, maintenance, use, and disclosure of employment records. The government seeks voluntary compliance with the Commission’s recommendations regarding employment records and will resort to legislation only if employers ignore them.

Employment records, to the extent they are educational records, are entitled to the protections afforded under the Buckley Amendment.

3.8.2 Limits on Collection of Personal Data

The record-keeping systems will contain only personally identifiable employee information that is relevant and necessary to the proper administration of the College, or that is required by laws or regulations.

3.8.3 Employee Records

Official Personnel File

The Office of Human Resources keeps the official personnel file for each employee. For staff and administrators, a supervisor should provide the Office of Human Resources with copies of documents used in making employment decisions (such as promotions, demotions, and dismissals) to be made part of the official file. The file includes such items as, employment application, resume, offer letter, reports of any disciplinary actions, certificates of training/development, letters of reference, and performance reviews.

Electronic files stored in IC HR Cloud are part of an employee’s official file.

Medical Files

A faculty or staff member who is the subject of a medical or insurance record maintained by the Office of Human Resources is allowed to have access to that information either directly or through a licensed medical professional designated by the individual.

Any individually identifiable medical record generated by the College’s group medical insurance plan is maintained separately from any employment-related record and is handled in accordance with confidentiality protections of federal and state law. Employees submit medical claims directly to the insurance company. Records pertaining to work-related insurance for employees, such as workers' compensation, long-term disability, and New York State disability, are available only to authorized personnel on a need-to-know basis.   

3.8.4 Access to the Official Personnel File

Access to the official personnel file is limited to the staff of the Office of Human Resources and deans, directors, and other supervisory personnel on a need-to-know basis. Supervisors have access to the files for their employees.

An employee may review the employee’s official personnel file in the presence of the associate vice president for human resources or designee at a mutually convenient time. The exception to this open file policy is that access is not given to pre-employment information that was obtained on a confidential basis.

3.8.5 Accuracy and Correction of Information in Employee Records

Department heads and other supervisors are responsible for accurately recording and submitting information on employees in their department or school. Employees should be instructed to update data such as name, address, etc. directly in the IC HR Cloud system. The employee should consult with the Office of Human Resources regarding all other changes in personal data that may affect benefits or payroll deductions (number of dependents, additional training acquired, degrees awarded, or marital status).

The College will permit an employee, former employee, or applicant to request correction or amendment of any record and will respond to such request, as follows:

  1. within a reasonable period of time correct, amend or supplement any portion that the individual reasonably believes is not accurate, timely, or complete; and
  2. furnish the correction or amendment to any person or organization specifically designated by the individual who may have within two years prior received such information; or
     
  3. inform the individual of its refusal to correct or amend the record in accordance with the individual’s request and of the reason(s) for the refusal; and
     
    1. permit an individual who disagrees with the refusal to correct or amend the record to have placed on or with the record a concise statement setting forth the reason(s) for the individual’s disagreement;
       
    2. in any subsequent disclosure outside the employing organization of information about which the individual has filed a statement of dispute, clearly note any portion of the record that is disputed and provide a copy of the statement along with information being disclosed; and
       
    3. furnish the statement to any person or organization specifically designated by the individual who may have, within two years prior, received any such information.

3.8.6 Copying of Records

Employees are entitled to request a copy of materials contained in the official personnel file (except pre-employment information obtained on a confidential basis) at reasonable intervals.

3.8.7 Confidentiality of Employee Records

Each department head is responsible for protecting access to and confidentiality of records created and used by the department. All employee documents should be stored in locked file cabinets. The directors of departments that need access to employee records or system-generated reports or data files for institutional purposes are responsible for developing appropriate procedures to protect confidentiality.

3.8.8 Disclosure of Employee Records

3.8.8.1 Internal Disclosure of Employee Records

Access to employee information will be limited to those persons having a legitimate need to review the files. A hiring supervisor will be given access to performance-related information on employees applying for an internal job change.

3.8.8.2 External Disclosure of Employee Records

The College accepts the duty of confidentiality to any individual employee, former employee, or applicant about whom it collects information and will not disclose, or be required to disclose, in individually identifiable form, any information without explicit authorization from such individual. Disclosure of employee records may be made to certain sources under the conditions indicated below. The College, may, in its sole discretion, provide information in addition to that set forth in this section pursuant to written information requests or legal process where appropriate.

If an employee gives authorization, other information may be released by the Office of Human Resources. For example, salary information may be given by staff from the Office of Human Resources for credit purposes. Other than directory information, release by telephone is given only if the request is from an organization with which the College has established a code or other means to verify the caller.

Because of the potential for legal liability to the College and the individual supervisor or academic administrator, oral or written employment references or verifications should not be provided. All requests for references should be directly referred to the Office of Human Resources.

The Office of Human Resources will provide employment verification in accordance with the procedures set forth in the ICPM.

If a written request is received, supervisors are advised to draft answers on a copy of the form and send it directly to the Office of Human Resources with the original of the form. The Office of Human Resources frequently works with the department to assist in completing the forms they receive from prospective employers.

Disclosure to anyone requesting the College provide or verify information designated by the College is limited to directory information. Information should not be released by departments without consultation with the Office of Human Resources. Such information shall not include more than:

  1. the fact of present employment;
  2. dates of employment;
  3. title of position;
  4. department;

3.8.8.3 Bearer References

The College requests that supervisors obtain prior approval from the Office of Human Resources before providing a bearer reference.

Last Updated: May 2021