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Policy 7010 - Personnel Records

The purpose of this policy is to establish standards and procedures for the maintenance of confidentiality, disclosure of information, and security of personnel records, in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County recognizes its responsibility to maintain accurate personnel records, to protect the confidentiality and privacy of personnel records, and to secure personnel records except where federal, state, and local laws and regulations provide for disclosure. The Board also recognizes the right of employees to access their personnel records.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish standards and procedures for the maintenance of confidentiality, disclosure of information, and security of personnel records, in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Confidential – Private, not intended to be shared with others.

  2. Confidentiality – Assurance that HCPSS employees and vendors protect personally identifiable information (PII) and do not disclose or transmit information to unauthorized parties.

  3. Disclosure – The act of permitting access to, the release, transfer, or other communication of personnel records or the PII contained therein, orally, in writing, by electronic means, or by any other means to any party.

  4. Legitimate Job-Related Interest – HCPSS Board members’, employees’, and vendors’ need to review a personnel record to conduct his/her professional responsibilities.

  5. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) – Any information that, alone or in combination, would make it possible to identify an individual with reasonable certainty.

  6. Personnel File – The file maintained by the Office of Human Resources for each HCPSS employee that contains pre-employment and current employment personnel records.

  7. Personnel Records – Records directly related to an employee, in any format and location, that are maintained by the HCPSS, or by a party acting for the HCPSS.

  8. Vendor – A person or organization that has a legal binding agreement with the HCPSS to perform a special task, such as an attorney, auditor, school resource officer, medical consultant, or therapist.

IV. Standards

  1. All HCPSS Board members, employees, and vendors will adhere to federal, state, and local laws and regulations as well as HCPSS policies, procedures, and guidelines for maintaining the accuracy, integrity, quality, and confidentiality of personnel records in any format and location.

  2. The storage, retention, and destruction of personnel records will adhere to federal, state, and local laws and regulations; Policy 3050 - Records Management; and HCPSS procedures.

  3. Access to confidential personnel records will be granted only for the purpose of serving legitimate job-related interest or as required by federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

  4. The release of the home addresses and telephone numbers of public employees is prohibited by state law, unless the employee gives permission or the HCPSS determines that inspection of such information is needed to protect the public interest.

  5. Personnel information released in compliance with a lawfully issued subpoena will be limited to the specifics cited in the subpoena.

V. Responsibilities

  1. All HCPSS Board members, employees, and vendors will maintain the confidentiality of personnel records.

  2. HCPSS Board members, employees, and vendors may disclose an HCPSS employee’s PII to appropriate parties in an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the employee or other individuals.

  3. HCPSS Board members, employees, and vendors may disclose an HCPSS employee’s PII as outlined in Policy 1030 - Child Abuse and Neglect.

  4. The Superintendent/Designee will monitor standards and procedures related to the confidentiality of personnel records as set forth in federal, state, and local laws, regulations and policies.

  5. The Superintendent/Designee will inform HCPSS employees annually of the general provisions of this policy including procedures related to the protection and confidentiality of personnel records.

  6. The Office of Human Resources will serve as the custodian of employee personnel records in the employee’s personnel file and will protect the confidentiality of those records.

  7. Principals and immediate supervisors will protect the confidentiality of all active or inactive personnel records stored in their schools and offices.

  8. Principals and immediate supervisors will review the standards and procedures related to the confidentiality and disclosure of personnel records with the appropriate employees.

  9. Principals and immediate supervisors will ensure that personnel records in their schools and offices will be maintained, reviewed, updated, retained, and destroyed in accordance with policy.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures for the implementation of this policy.

VII. References

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, Section 4-205 (Powers and Duties of County Superintendent)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, General Provisions Article, Section 4-101 (Definitions)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, General Provisions Article, Section 4-311 (Personnel Records)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, General Provisions Article, Section 4-331 (Information about public employees)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, General Provisions Article, Section 4-401 (Unlawful disclosure of public records)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, General Provisions Article, Section 4-501 (Personal records)

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, State Government Article, Section 10-616 and 10-617 (Disposition of specific records)

C. Relevant Data Sources

VIII. History

ADOPTED: June 2, 1970

REVIEWED:

MODIFIED:

REVISED: September 10, 1992, February 7, 2008, June 11, 2015

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2015