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Friday, September 11, 2015

A supervisor’s personal daily log recording observations concerning a subordinate’s performance held not to be a record “used for personnel purposes”


A supervisor’s personal daily log recording observations concerning a subordinate’s performance held not to be a record “used for personnel purposes”
Steve Poole et al, v Orange County Fire Authority, Supreme Court of California, Ct. App., G047691, G047850

The California Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act (Gov. Code, §3250 et seq.) provides that a firefighter has the right to review and respond to any negative comment that is “entered in his or her personnel file, or any other file used for any personnel purposes by his or her employer.”

In the Poole case, the California Supreme Court considered whether §3255 gives a firefighter the right to review and respond to negative comments in a supervisor’s daily log, consisting of notes that memorialize the supervisor’s thoughts and observations concerning a firefighter which the supervisor uses as a memory aid in preparing performance plans and reviews.

The court held that in this instance because the log was not shared with or available to anyone other than the supervisor who wrote the log, it does not constitute a file “used for any personnel purposes by his or her employer” and thus §3255 did not apply.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://hr.cch.com/ELD/PooleOrangeCounty.pdf

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