Employment Records Are Discoverable in Litigation

Personnel files are generally discoverable if they are relevant, although some courts have expressed reluctance to disclose personnel files, particularly those of public officials such as police officers. See Segura v. City of Reno, 116 F.R.D. 42 (D.Nev.1987). Personnel files are often relevant and used  may be in discrimination cases. See e.g. Willis v. Golden Rule Insurance Co., 56 F.E.P. 1451, 1991 WL 350038 (E.D.Tenn.1991); In re: Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Prod. Liab. Litig., 313 F.R.D. 32, 36 (E.D. La. 2016) (noting “personnel files are discoverable if the interest in discovery exceeds the interest in privacy.”) EEOC. v. Avco New Idea Div., 26 Fed. R. Serv. 2d 736 (N.D. Ohio 1978) (“While there no doubt is much that is irrelevant to this action contained in such persons’ personnel files, those files might reasonably be expected to yield probative evidence of plaintiff’s claims. Accordingly, the Court will grant plaintiff’s motion to compel production of the personnel files of the Defendant Company’s supervisory personnel who have directly supervised members of the plaintiff class…”); Griffith v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 163 F.R.D. 4, 4–5 (E.D. Ky. 1995 (“The court has examined the case law on this frequently contested discovery issue and *5 concludes that the personnel files are discoverable in this case.”)

They key analysis is whether the employment records are relevant or likely to lead to relevant information. If they are, the employment records are subject to discovery.


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