3.3 Personnel Records

This policy was last updated December 20, 2023. See the update history page for more information.

The Human Resources Department is responsible for maintaining records of each employee's work history at MIT and for maintaining some biographic information, including educational background, home and office address, and emergency notification information.

3.3.1 Updating Personnel Records

It is the responsibility of supervisors or administrators in departments to notify their Human Resources Officer of changes in job duties, work schedule, or other position-related information. (See Section 5.2, Implementing Changes in Employment Status.)

Employees are responsible for maintaining current home and work contact information through Atlas. An authorized departmental administrator can update information on behalf of an employee without computer access, via Atlas. Employees are also responsible for submitting changes in legal name or social security number to the HR/Payroll Service Center. Updates to any of these types of information will be fed electronically to various entities as appropriate, including: Human Resources, Benefits, Payroll, the People Directory, Information Systems and Technology, the Medical Department, and medical and retirement benefits carriers.

3.3.2 Release of Information

Only the following information concerning active or terminated employees is released by the Human Resources department upon receipt of a telephone or written request:

  1. dates of employment at MIT
  2. job classification or title
  3. department in which the individual is or was employed
  4. MIT telephone extension on active employees, if requested
  5. office address (in most cases) for active employees
  6. electronic mail address, for active employees

Written requests for additional information related to credit evaluation, employment references, mortgage applications, etc. will be provided only if a release form is signed and returned to the Human Resources Office by the employee.

Requests for employment information by the Department of Unemployment Assistance in Massachusetts and other states in connection with an unemployment compensation application will be provided, as required by law, without the use of a release form, since this inquiry is initiated by the terminated employee who has filed a claim. (See Section 6.5, Termination Procedures.)

Employees will normally be notified when the Institute is required to provide personnel information by a subpoena, warrant, or other court order. See Section 11.2 of Policies & Procedures, Privacy of Personal Information, and Section 13.2 of Policies & Procedures, Policy on the Use of Information Technology Resources.

3.3.3 Access to Personnel Files by Supervisors and Administrative Officers

Supervisors and Directors of Administration and Finance do not have access to personnel files maintained by Human Resources. However, information on work record or employment history will be provided to supervisors or Directors of Administration and Finance by the Human Resources Officer assisting the department on a need-to-know basis. Human Resources Officers may provide applications or material placed in the file by the supervisor.

3.3.4 Access to Personnel Files by Employees

Upon written request, an employee may make an appointment with the Human Resources Officer for the employment area to view their personnel file. An employee may not request that material be removed from the personnel file unless mutually agreed to by the parties concerned. If the employee feels that a situation has been unfairly represented, the employee may submit a clarifying memorandum to the Human Resources Officer and request that it become a permanent part of the file.

A written request also is required from former employees when requesting access to their personnel files.