As an employee, you should know what you are entitled to from your employer. It is important that you and your employer are transparent as to what is expected from both parties in order to avoid costly litigation. Here is what you need to know about your employment contract and your rights as an employee.
Am I entitled to a copy of my employment contract?
In Florida, you are not entitled to a copy of your employee contract unless your employer is a public sector employer (for example, police officers or county employees). However, as an employee, you should still always request a copy of the contract, in writing. If your employer refuses to give you a copy of the contract, you would only gain access to it if you or your employer were to file a lawsuit based on the breach of your contract. As a party to the lawsuit, you would eventually have access to the contract through the discovery process.
Can an employer refuse to give you a copy of your contract?
Under Florida law, your employer can reserve the right to retain the contract because employment records are considered property of the employer. Therefore, you should always make sure to carefully read and understand the contract before you sign it because you may not be able to see it again unless you or your employer were to sue one another.
Do you have a right to see what is in your personnel file?
Similar to the employment contract, you are only entitled to view your personnel file if you are a public employee. If you are a public employee, you can make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to access anything that is in your personnel file. If you are a private employee, you should ask human resources or whomever maintains personnel files at your employer for their policy on personnel files. It never hurts to ask, as your employer may allow you to review the files.