State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_115C > GS_115C-321

§ 115C‑321. Confidential information in personnel files; access to information.

(a)        All informationcontained in a personnel file, except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, isconfidential and shall not be open for inspection and examination except to anyof the following persons:

(1)        The employee,applicant for employment, former employee, or his properly authorized agent,who may examine his own personnel file at all reasonable times in its entiretyexcept for letters of reference solicited prior to employment.

(2)        The superintendentand other supervisory personnel.

(3)        Members of the localboard of education and the board's attorney.

(4)        A party by authorityof a subpoena or proper court order may inspect and examine a particularconfidential portion of an employee's personnel file.

(a1)      Notwithstanding anyother provision of this Chapter, information contained in a personnel file thatis relevant to possible criminal misconduct may be made available to lawenforcement and the district attorney to assist in the investigation of:

(1)        A report made to lawenforcement pursuant to G.S. 115C‑288(g), or

(2)        Any report to lawenforcement regarding an arson, attempted arson, destruction of, theft from,theft of, embezzlement from, embezzlement of any personal or real propertyowned by the local board of education.

(a2)      The employee shallbe given five working days prior written notice of any disclosure undersubsection (a1) of this section to permit the employee to apply to the districtcourt for an in camera review prior to the date of disclosure to determine ifthe information is relevant to the possible criminal misconduct. Failure of theemployee to apply for a review shall constitute a waiver by the employee of anyrelief under this subsection.

(a3)      Statements oradmissions made by the employee and produced under subsection (a1) of thissection shall not be admissible in any subsequent criminal proceeding againstthe employee.

(b)        Notwithstanding anyother provision of this Chapter, any superintendent may, in his discretion, orshall at the direction of the Board of Education, inform any person orcorporation of any promotion, demotion, suspension, reinstatement, transfer,separation, dismissal, employment or nonemployment of any applicant, employeeor former employee employed by or assigned to the local board of education orwhose personnel file is maintained by the board and the reasons therefor andmay allow the personnel file of the person or any portion to be inspected andexamined by any person or corporation provided that the board has determinedthat the release of the information or the inspection and examination of thefile or any portion is essential to maintaining the integrity of the board orto maintaining the level or quality of services provided by the board;provided, that prior to releasing the information or making the file or anyportion available as provided herein, the superintendent shall prepare amemorandum setting forth the circumstances which he and the board deem torequire the disclosure and the information to be disclosed. The memorandumshall be retained in the files of the superintendent and shall be a publicrecord.

(b1)      Notwithstanding anyprovision of this section to the contrary, the Retirement Systems Division ofthe Department of State Treasurer may disclose the name and mailing address offormer public school employees to domiciled, nonprofit organizationsrepresenting 10,000 or more retired State government, local government, orpublic school employees.

(c)        A public officialor employee who knowingly, willfully, and with malice permits any person tohave access to information contained in a personnel file, except as permittedby this section, is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and upon conviction shallonly be fined an amount not in excess of five hundred dollars ($500.00).

(d)        Any person, notspecifically authorized by this section to have access to a personnel file, whoshall knowingly and willfully examine in its official filing place, remove, orcopy any portion of a personnel file shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanorand upon conviction shall only be fined not in excess of five hundred dollars($500.00).  (1987,c. 571, s. 1; 2005‑321, s. 1; 2007‑192, s. 1; 2008‑194, s.11(b).)