What are a Company's obligations when an Employee requests Copies of all Signed Documents?

Under California Labor Code § 432, Any document that an employee (or job applicant) “signs” that is related to obtaining or holding employment must be provided under Labor Code § 432 upon request. Examples include job applications, handbook acknowledgments, arbitration agreements, job descriptions, and any signed policy acknowledgments (anti-harassment, retaliation, discrimination, at-will employment, meal/rest break polices, etc.). There is no timeline for production and there is no private right of action to enforce compliance.

However, it does not mean that employers should ignore requests because as a practical matter, documents covered by this section can also be covered by Labor Code § 1198.5 (i.e., signed performance reviews or signed disciplinary write-ups).

Significantly, failure to comply with such a request is a misdemeanor.  Further discussion of the other statutory provisions requesting copies of personnel records and payroll records can be found in other FAQ’s.

Lisa Sherman
California Labor & Employment Attorney