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Personnel Records and Procedures

Lowndes County Schools

 

Personnel Records - HR Procedure

 

Introduction

In collecting, maintaining, and disclosing personnel information, Lowndes County Schools (LCS) Human Resources Department (HR Department) makes every effort to protect employees' privacy rights and interests and prevent inappropriate or unnecessary disclosures of information from any employee’s file or record. Personnel records include, but are not limited to, information regarding pay and benefits, withholding allowances, medical history, workers’ compensation, drug testing, criminal background checks, E-Verify, I-9, etc. Personnel record information shall only be used in keeping with the requirements of the laws authorizing the collection of the information. While complying with its governmental reporting and record-keeping requirements, LCS shall strive to ensure that it handles all personal and job-related information about employees in a secure, confidential, and appropriate fashion in accordance with the procedures required by state and federal laws and in keeping with the procedures outlined below.

 

Confidentiality of Information

LCS treats personal information about employees as confidential and respects the need for protecting each employee's privacy by enforcing secure information handling procedures on the part of all personnel whose job duties involve gathering, retaining, using, or releasing personal information about employees. LCS collects and retains only such personal information as required to effectively conduct business and administer its employment and benefit programs and as may be required by state and federal laws. LCS takes all possible steps to make sure that all personal and job-related information about employees is accurate, complete, and relevant for its intended purpose. Wherever necessary, LCS shall notify employees if additional personal information is required and request that employees furnish the requested information/documents.

 

Security and Storage of Personnel Records

All paper information and electronic documents relating to LCS’s personnel record system are kept in password protected electronic media or in secure, locked files in the HR Department or in another secure location. The information shall be accessible only to authorized HR Department employees who have a valid, demonstrable need to obtain specific information from an employee's personnel record. All personnel files and records must remain under the control of the HR Department in a manner that ensures security and confidentiality of the information at all times. All medical information relating to an employee is kept in the separate medical records files maintained by the HR Department. Access to these medical files is tightly controlled. Medical information about an employee may be supplied as required by state and federal laws or only to the employee or another party in accordance with the employee’s written specific request.

 

Retention of Personnel Records

LCS shall comply with the Retention Schedules for Local Government Records established by the Georgia Secretary of State under the authority of the Georgia Records Act (O.C.G.A. § 50-18-90 et.seq.) and applicable federal laws.

 

Destruction of Personnel Records

Personnel records may be destroyed after expiration of the retention period in keeping with the Schedule or as may be allowed by state and federal laws. The destruction of personnel records shall be accomplished by shredding under the supervision of HR Department personnel. The destruction of personnel records must be documented using the Records Destruction Authorization form which must be forwarded to the Records Management Coordinator in the HR Department.

 

Disclosure or Release of Employee Information to Government Agencies

On occasion, LCS must provide information and data from its personnel records and files to federal and state government agencies in accordance with record-keeping and reporting requirements imposed by such agencies. If an agency's information request occurs during the course of an agency investigation or if an agency asks LCS to keep such a request confidential, LCS shall comply with the agency's request as prescribed by Georgia law and regulations.  LCS shall be required to honor subpoenas, production orders demanding production of information with respect to any employee in keeping with applicable state or federal laws.

 

Disclosure or Release of Employee Information to Non-governmental Entities

In response to an information request from an outside organization or non-governmental entity, LCS may verify the employment status and dates of employment for former or present employees. LCS does not provide any other information unless and until it has received from the employee/former employee a written request that LCS disclose or confirm additional specific information.

 

Employees' Access Personnel File Information

All employees can review the information contained in their own personnel file. To prevent abuses of this access privilege, LCS also reserves the right to limit the number of times an employee can access his or her file during a 12-month period. Employees who are interested in reviewing the contents of their personnel file should contact the HR Department and provide at a three-day notice of their desire to schedule a mutually convenient time for an appointment.

 

Accuracy of Employee Information

To ensure that contents of employees’ personnel files are correct, employees can request correction or deletion of information in their personnel records as appropriate by submitting a written request to the Director of HR. Within 30 calendar days of receipt of a written request to amend a record, the HR Director will notify the employee in writing that the amendment will be made as requested or that the amendment request has been denied. In cases where a requested amendment is denied, the HR Director must explain the reasons for refusing to make the change. A copy of the response must be placed in the individual's record if the request is denied. If the HR Director refuses to amend or delete the record, the individual has the right to enter into the record a statement setting forth the reasons for the individual's disagreement.

 

Questions

Questions about the application or enforcement of the security, retention, storage, and destruction procedures should be forwarded to the Director of HR at the Central Office.

 

HR 7-13-2015