The University of Memphis

Employee Personnel Records


Issued: November 22, 2004
Responsible Official: Vice President for Business & Finance
Responsible Office: Human Resources

Policy Statement

Policy Statement

The Vice President of Business and Finance, as designated by the Tennessee Board of Regents, shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of Employee Personnel Records for current and previous employees at the University of Memphis.

Employee Personnel Records assembled and maintained by the University will be limited to those materials required for proper administration and management.



To set forth the requirements for establishing, maintaining, accessing, and retaining employee personnel records for current and previous employees, as well as for applicants who were not selected for employment during the hiring process, except those of undergraduate student employees.

To designate an official custodian of all employee records, except those of undergraduate student employees.

To assure compliance with Executive Order #45, Tennessee Code Annotated Section10-7-301 et. seq., Federal and local statutory requirements, and the Tennessee Board of Regents Policy 5:01:00:10.


Employee Personnel RecordsPaper documents, microfilm, electronic data, imaged copies, or other material concerning appointments, salary, benefits, evaluations, etc. regardless of physical form or characteristics. Employee personnel records assembled and maintained by the University will be limited to those materials required for proper administration and management.

CustodianThe primary person or department responsible for maintaining, storing, and ensuring proper retention of employee personnel records. The custodian of employee records at the University is the Department of Human Resources, Employee Records Office.

Public Records

As defined in Tennessee Code Annotated 10-7-301, public record(s) or state record(s) means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing files and output, films, sound recordings, or other material regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any governmental agency.

Except for confidential data as defined by law, employee personnel records are considered public records and may be inspected, extracted, or copied by any citizen of Tennessee during normal business hours, in accordance with reasonable rules of the applicable office of record.


Custodians of Employee Records

Three areas have custodial roles for various employee records:

  • The Department of Human Resources - all employee personnel records except for those of the undergraduate student employees.
  • Faculty Administrative Services - certain records concerning a faculty member's performance evaluations, professional and personal data related to teaching assignments, tenure, etc.
  • The Office of Student Employment - all undergraduate student employee records.


Paper documents in the files of active employees are retained indefinitely. Microfilmed or imaged copies of inactive employees are stored for a minimum of 75 years. See Retention and Dispostion Schedule and Office of Record located at:


Access to Files and Release of Information

An employee or the employee's supervisor or manager may review the employee's personnel record by presenting proper identification.         

Employee personnel records, active and inactive, are subject to inspection by any citizen of the State of Tennessee under Tennessee's Open Records Law. Refer to University procedure on Public Records - Inspecting and Copying at


Request to Inspect/Copy Public Records Under Tennessee’s Open Records Act

When a request is made under the Tennessee Open Records Act to inspect the personnel record of an active employee, the employee will be notified by telephone message, email, or memo as soon as practical.

A requestor may receive copies of documents retained in an employee personnel record as specified in Public Records - Inspecting and Copying at

Only aggregate data may be released to researchers. Release of data to a student requires a written release from his or her major advisor. No social security numbers, names, or other means of identification will be released.         


Personnel Information Available for Inspection and Copying

When requests for inspection and copying are received under the Tennessee Open Records, some information in the record may be considered confidential under the law. In this case, paper copies will be made of the record and the confidential information will be redacted (stricken) before being made available for inspection.

The types of information that are redacted are:

  • Unpublished telephone numbers
  • Bank Account information
  • Social Security Number
  • Driver License information, except where driving or operating a vehicle is part of the employee's job
  • The same information above on family or household members

The types of information and documents in employee records that may be released are:

  • Department Name                 
  • Date of employment              
  • Position Title
  • Time & Attendance Records       
  • Committee Memberships
  • Demographic Information                        
  • Education                     
  • Evaluation/Commendation              
  • Grievance Proceeding Files
  • Training & Professional Development
  • Requests for Reassignment/Transfer            
  • Retirement Records
  • Salary     
  • Special Qualifications
  • Tenure                          
  • Work History Documentation                    
  • Disciplinary Proceedings,
  • Evidence, Findings, etc.                 
  • Garnishments
  • Benefits Enrollment Forms                    
  • References/Pre-hiring Files

Employment Verification/Loan ApplicationsEmployment verification information, i.e., department name, date of employment, and position title, is routinely released without employee notification. An employee's filing of an application to a mortgage/lending company, bank, or similar lending agency constitutes consent by the employee for the release of this information from the employee's file. 

SubpoenasUpon receipt of a subpoena for information from an employee's personnel record, both the employee and the University Legal Counsel will be advised immediately.  

Related Forms

Application to Inspect


Where can I get information about Student Employee records?


Public Records - Inspecting and Copying

Tennessee Board of Regents Personnel Records

Revision Dates

 UM1541 - Issued: November 22, 2004 supercedes policy 1:2D:05:06

Subject Areas:

AcademicFinanceGeneralHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyStudent Affairs

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