Employee Files and Records, Employment Verifications (20.031)

Introduction 

University Human Resources is the custodian of employment files and records. Files or records specific to individual employees will be accessed only when needed for legitimate reasons related to an employee's job, consideration for a transfer, promotion or job change, bonus, recognition or commemoration, or as needed to respond to a legal inquiry.

Brown University partners with Equifax/The Work Number and transmits to them all data required to verify employment and income. As required by FERPA, student workers must complete a consent form before Brown will transmit employment and payroll data to The Work Number. 

Employees who wish Brown to release information beyond that required for credit or other services must submit a written request and release form (including a hold-harmless clause) to authorize release of information to individuals outside of the University. 

Policy Statement 

Employment files are the property of the University. Files and records will be maintained in confidence except as access is necessary for the business needs of Brown and as disclosure may be required by law. Employees are granted access to their official Human Resources records in accordance with applicable laws.

Employees must update their employment record in the Human Resources/Payroll system should their name, home address, citizenship, marital status, emergency contact or other data change.

Definitions 

Employment File: An employment file, or record, may be maintained in paper or electronic format, or both. It includes but is not limited to information related to an application for employment, performance appraisals or reviews, documentation of disciplinary action if any, records of transfer, promotion or job change, compensation history and other similar information. An employee file may also include information related to an individual employee's benefits enrollment data, leaves of absence and related information. 

Responsibilities 

Employee: Employees are responsible for updating their employment record in the Human Resources/Payroll system should their name, home address, citizenship, marital status, emergency contact or other data change as they occur.

Student employees must submit a consent form if they wish employment information to be released by the University to The Work Number. 

University Human Resources (UHR): UHR will maintain employee files and records in a manner that ensures confidentiality and will not permit individuals inside or outside of the University to view an employee's personnel file unless a written release has been provided by the employee or such access is required by law or by the Office of the General Counsel. 

UHR will ensure that any employee data electronically transmitted to our partner for verification of employment purposes is transmitted using best practices for data security.


Procedures 

Employee Access to Their Employment Files
Employees may review any paper employment files or records during business hours by requesting an appointment with the Records and Data Integrity section of University Human Resources. Normally, 24 hours prior notice will be required for employees to view their personnel files. Electronic records are accessible at any time through the HR/Payroll system.

Authorization to Verify Employment or Release References
Employees may use their personal credentials to review their own records at The Work Number by logging onto www.theworknumber.com/employees and using 17727 as the employer code. Student employees should use 18111 as the employer code. For the first login, the user ID will be the employee’s Social Security Number and the default pin will be the Last 4 of SSN + YYYY year of birth. Any discrepancies in data should immediately be reported to University Human Resources. Verifications of employment or income by a third-party should be directed to The Work Number. 

Employees must submit a written request and release form (including a hold-harmless clause) if they wish to authorize the release of information in their employment record to respond to reference requests made by parties outside of the University. With a signed release form, performance and other relevant information may be released by UHR or others who have been specifically designated. 

Employees wishing to designate a supervisor or other Brown employee to release a reference on their behalf must submit an original Reference Release Form to University Human Resources with a copy to the designated individual.

Access by Other Employees and Supervisors to Personnel Files
If employees are being considered for another position within the University, the supervisor of the new position will, upon request, be given access to relevant information about the employee's past performance record at Brown. Departments may request review of employee files as a final step in their hiring process. Brown application forms authorize a review of employment records, however as a courtesy, employees should be notified by the department prior to a review of the file.

Changes to Employee Files
Employees may request that relevant documents be added to their employment files. Requests to add or remove documents from an employment file should be submitted to the Records and Data Coordinator in University Human Resources. 

Forms/Instructions
Policy Owner
Approved by 
Vice President for Human Resources
Contact(s) 

Toni Lenz Tinberg
Director of HR Services
University Human Resources
Brown Office Building, 3rd Floor
Toni_Tinberg@Brown.edu
401-863-1082 

Revision Date:  Wed, 2017-02-08 11:42