2.21          Personnel Records.


            (1)        Leon County Schools shall maintain the integrity and privacy of all personnel records in accordance with s. 119.01-119.11, and s. 1012.31, Florida Statutes, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).


            (2)        Definitions.  The term "personnel record" as used in this section shall mean all files, information, data or materials maintained by the Leon County Schools, in any form or retrieval system whatsoever, with respect to any of its employees, which is uniquely applicable to that employee, whether maintained in one or more locations.


            The employee file maintained centrally in the Personnel Services Department shall contain at a minimum, and in addition to assessment material, records which show conveniently and completely all the information necessary for making appropriate employment decisions, required reports to the Department of Education, for administration of district salary schedules and benefits, and for auditing of school funds, and any other materials which may be required by law or State Board Rules.  Duplicate or additional material maintained at other worksites shall be covered by this policy and maintained incompliance with Section 1012.31, F.S.


(3)               Confidentiality Practices.


(a)                Authorization.  The Leon County School Board (LCSB) shall obtain the individual’s written authorization for any use or disclosure of protected information, including health information, that is not for employment decisions, enrollment, treatment, payment or health care operations or otherwise permitted or required by the policy or state or federal rules.  LCSB may not condition working conditions, treatment, payment, enrollment, or benefits eligibility on an individual granting an authorization, except in limited circumstances permitted by law.  All authorizations must be in plain language, and contain specific information regarding the information or other data to be disclosed or used, the person(s) disclosing and receiving the information, expiration, and the right to revoke in writing, and other data.


            (b)        Limiting uses and disclosures to the minimum necessary.  LCSB shall make reasonable efforts to use, disclose, and request only the minimum amount of protected information needed to accomplish the intended purpose of the use, disclosure, or request.


            (c)        Restricted disclosure.  For internal uses, LCSB has developed and implemented confidentiality practices (set forth in this section) that restrict access and uses of all protected information, including health information, based on the specific roles of the members of the district.  For routine, recurring disclosures, or requests for disclosures, LCSB shall limit the protected information disclosed to that which is the minimum amount reasonably necessary to achieve the purpose of the disclosure and individual review of each disclosure is not required.  For non-routine, non-recurring disclosures, or requests for disclosures that it makes, LCSB shall establish criteria designed to limit disclosures to the information reasonably necessary to accomplish the purpose of the disclosure and review each of these requests individually in accordance with the established criteria.


            (4)        Public Records.  Personnel records are subject to public records law, and are open for inspection except as noted below.  All exemptions may be waived in writing by the employee.


(a)                Medical, psychiatric, psychological, or other individually identifiable health information.


(b)               Payroll deductions and other personal financial information.


(c)                Evaluations prepared prior to July 1, 1983.


(d)               Evaluations prepared on or after July 1, 1983 are exempt until the end of the school year following the school year during which the evaluation is made.


(e)                A complaint or any materials relating to the investigation of a complaint are exempt until conclusion of the preliminary investigation.


(f)                 Derogatory materials are exempt until ten (10) days after the employee has been notified and provided a copy of the materials.


(g)                Personally identifiable, photograph, video or other images of an individual employed not part of a public event.


(h)                Or as otherwise provided by Section 119.07(3), F.S.


            (5)        Access.  All aspects of each employee's personnel records shall be available to Board members, the Superintendent and the principal, or their respective designees or other Leon County Schools employees, in the exercise of their respective duties; by law enforcement personnel involved in a current criminal investigation; and by the employee or any person designated in writing by the employee.


            (6)        Inspection by Employee Designee.  An employee or duly authorized designee of the employee shall be permitted to examine a personnel record subject to the following conditions:


            (a)        Notification must be made to Personnel Services Department at least one working day in advance.


            (b)        An authorized designee must present a written statement signed by the employee giving permission to review the file.


            (c)        The custodian of the record shall maintain a record in the file of those persons reviewing the file each time it is reviewed.


            (7)        Special Handling for Certain materials.


            (a)        Anonymous Materials.  No anonymous letters or materials shall be placed in the file.


            (b)        Health Information.  All individually identifiable health related information shall be kept confidential and secured in a location separate from the personnel file.  Protected health related information shall include:


1.         The individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition.

2.         The provision of health care to the individual.

            3.         The past, present, or future enrollment and payment for the provision of health                           care to the individual.


            (c)        Derogatory Materials.  Materials which are derogatory to an employee may be placed in a personnel file only if they pertain to work performance, or other matters that may be cause for discipline, suspension or dismissal.


            1.         Such material must be reduced to writing within 45 days and signed by a person competent to know the facts or make the judgment.  Additional material may be added to clarify or amplify as needed.


            2.         A copy of all such materials to be placed in the personnel file shall be provided to the employee,


            a.         By certified mail; return receipt requested to his/her address of record; or


            b.         By personal delivery to the employee.  Employee's signature on a copy of the material signified receipt only.  If employee refuses to sign for delivery, a statement by a witness certifying personal delivery to the employee will be sufficient proof of delivery.


            3.         The employee has the right to answer in writing any such derogatory material in the employee's personnel file.


            4.         Upon a written request by an employee, the Superintendent or Superintendent's designee will make an informal inquiry regarding materials in the personnel file which the employee believes to be false.  The official making the inquiry shall attach a written report of findings to the material in the file and send a copy to the employee.


            (d)        Complaints against Employee.  Any complaint or material relating to the investigation of a complaint against an employee shall be confidential until the conclusion of a preliminary investigation or until the investigation ceases to be active.  An investigation will be made on written complaints only.


            A preliminary investigation shall be considered active as long as it is continuing with a reasonable, good faith anticipation that an administrative finding will be made in the foreseeable future.


            A preliminary investigation of a complaint must terminate in any of the following ways:


            1.         With a finding that there is not probable cause to proceed further.  A statement to that effect signed by a responsible investigating official shall be attached to the complaint.


            2.         With a finding that there is probable cause to proceed further or with disciplinary action taken or charges filed.


            3.         With the investigation ceasing to be active.  An investigation shall be presumed to be inactive if no finding relating to probable cause is made within 60 days after the complaint is made.


(8)        Permitted Uses and Disclosures.  LCSB is permitted, but not required, to use and disclose protected information, including health information, without an individual’s authorization, for the following purposes or situations:


(a)                To the individual who is the subject of the information.


(b)               For LCSB’s own management responsibilities and approved program or benefit activities.


(c)          When information permission was obtained by asking the individual outright, or by circumstances that clearly give the individual the opportunity to agree, acquiesce, or object for disclosure or notification that is determined to be in the best interests of the individual.


(d)         As a result of, or as “incident to,” an otherwise permitted use or disclosure long as LCSB has adopted reasonable safeguards, and the information being shared was limited to the “minimum necessary,” as required by the state and federal rules.


(e)          For the national priority purposes:


1.                  Required by law.

2.                  Public Health Activities.

3.                  Victims of Abuse, Neglect or Domestic Violence.

4.                  Health Oversight Activities.

5.                  Judicial and Administrative Proceedings.

6.                  Law Enforcement Purposes.

7.                  Decedents.

8.                  Cadaveric Organ, Eye, or Tissue Donation.

9.                  Research.

10.              Serious Threat to Health or Safety.

11.              Essential Government Functions.

12.              Workers’ Compensation.


            (f)         As a limited data set, with direct identifiers removed, disclosed for research, district contracts and management operations, and public health purposes, provided the recipient enters into a data use agreement promising specified safeguards for the protected information within the limited data set.


            (9)        General Information.


            (a)        Forms and materials necessary for normal business transactions will be a part of the personnel file.


            (b)        Verification of employment will be given over the phone after identification of the person making the request has been made.  Only the work location and the date of employment of the employee will be released over the phone.  All other requests for information must be in writing, and the person about whom the information is requested must be informed.  These requests are subject to approval by the appropriate supervisor in the finance or personnel department.


            (10)      Production Procedures and Fees.


            (a)        Every person who has custody of personnel files shall permit the files to be inspected and duplicated by any person authorized to do so, at reasonable times, under reasonable conditions, and under supervision by the custodian of the records or designee.


            (b)        The records custodian or designee shall review the employee's file for compliance or exemptions under this policy before opening the file for inspection or duplication.  The custodian of the personnel files will maintain a record in each file of persons reviewing the file.


            (c)        Any employee may conveniently reproduce any material in their file at the amount specified by law.  Reproduction of records is to be done on Board premises.  The cost of copies will be consistent with that established in Board Policy 1.021 Public Records.


            (11)      The Procedures Manual, entitled "Personnel File Procedures," is incorporated by reference and is a part of this Board policy.  Such Procedures Manual may be updated by the Superintendent as necessary to insure compliance with applicable law and/or rule.


            (12)      Privacy of Files.  LCSB shall designate a privacy officer to receive complaints from employees if they believe their privacy rights have been violated and shall include that person’s name, mailing address, telephone numbers and email address on all privacy notices.  Individual employees have a right to file complaints related to non compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1966 (HIPAA) to the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 61 Forsyth Street, S.W., Atlanta Georgia 30323.


Statutory authority:                    1001.41, F.S.

Law implemented:                     1012.23 and 1012.31, F.S.

Substantially amended:  June 14, 1984.

Amended:                                 March 8, 1994, October 10, 1995; May 11, 2004


See also Administrative Procedure A-15--Public Records

See also Administrative Procedure B-12--Personnel Records Management