Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Personnel File Definition:

An employer's folder of employee records collected in regards to qualifications, promotion, transfer, compensation or disciplinary action.

In Copley Press, Justice Tom Lytton of the Appellate Court of Illinois considered whether the contents of a personnel file was in or outside the scope of a freedom of information statute.

He wrote:

"[A] personnel file can reasonably be expected to include documents such as a resume or application, an employment contract, policies signed by the employee, payroll information, emergency contact information, training records, performance evaluations and disciplinary records.

"Personnel records include any documents which have been or are intended to be used in determining an employee's qualifications for employment, promotion, transfer, additional compensation, discharge or other disciplinary action. (P)erformance evaluations clearly belong in the personnel file."


  • Copley Press v. Board of Education, 834 NE 2d 558 (2005)

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