Should Employees Request and Keep a Signed Copy of Their Employment Contract?


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.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Eric Gros-Dubois

Eric P. Gros-Dubois founded EPGD Business Law in 2013 and is the current head of the firm’s corporate, estate planning, and tax practice, and manages the firm’s Washington D.C. office. With a JD and MBA, and a specialization in finance, Eric is able to step back and view the legal world through a commercial lens while also acting as a trusted business advisor for his clients. He does his best to be solutions oriented, and tries to think like a business owner, not just a lawyer.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.

One Response

  1. I was harassed out of a teaching job at a public school district in FL several years back. We consulted an attorney but did not pursue lawsuit to protect friends who I did not realize were not loyal to me. The attorney said there was no time limit on lawsuit. Can I request my personal file?

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