CBA Article 12

ARTICLE 12 PERSONNEL FILES 

12.1 Personnel files will be placed in a secure location determined by the employing agency. A nurse may examine his or her own personnel file. Written authorization from the nurse is required before any representative of the nurse will be granted access to the personnel file. The nurse and/or representative may not remove any contents. A nurse may request a copy of any document contained in his or her personnel file and the Employer may charge a reasonable fee for copying materials beyond the first copy requested by the nurse or his or her representative. 

12.2 A nurse will be provided with a copy of all materials placed in his or her personnel file related to job performance. A nurse may provide a written response to any information in the file that he or she considers objectionable that will then be attached to the document. 

12.3 The substance of adverse material or information related to nurse misconduct or alleged misconduct that is proven by an administrative body, judicial proceeding, licensing action or through a grievance procedure to be inaccurate, false or where the nurse has been fully exonerated will be removed unless: 

A. The nurse requests the information be kept; or 

B. The information is related to pending legal action or legal action(s) may reasonably be expected to result. 

12.4 Residents, clients, patients, or their legal representatives shall not have access to any nurse’s personnel file unless required by court order, subpoena or public disclosure request. Access to a nurse’s personnel file within the employing agency shall be limited to legitimate state business purposes. 

12.5 Removal of Documents 

A. Adverse material or information related to alleged misconduct that is determined to be false and all such information in situations where the employee has been fully exonerated of wrongdoing will be removed from employee files. However, the Employer may retain this information in a legal defense file and it will only be used or released when required by a regulatory agency (acting in their regulatory capacity), in the defense of an appeal or legal action, or as otherwise required by law. 

B. Written reprimands will be removed from an employee’s personnel file after three (3) years if: 

1. Circumstances do not warrant a longer retention period; 

2. There has been no subsequent discipline; and 

3. The employee submits a written request for its removal. 

C. Records of disciplinary actions involving reductions-in-pay, suspensions or demotions, and written reprimands not removed after three (3) years will be removed after five (5) years if: 

1. Circumstances do not warrant a longer retention period; 

2. There has been no subsequent discipline; and 

3. The employee submits a written request for its removal. 

D. Performance evaluations will be removed from an employee’s personnel file after five (5) years if: 

1. Circumstances do not warrant a longer retention period; and/or 

2. There have been no documented performance deficiencies in a subsequent performance evaluation; and 

3. The employee submits a written request for its removal. 

E. Nothing in this Section will prevent the Employer from agreeing to an earlier removal date, unless to do so would violate RCW 41.06.450. 

F. Once a discipline or performance evaluation has been removed from the personnel file as outlined in Section 12.5 B, C or D above, the information removed will not be used in subsequent disciplinary actions, unless mutually agreed otherwise. 


© Paul Vilja 2017