A woman suffered repetitive motion injuries while working for a local manufacturer. NH law at the time permitted an “employee” to obtain a copy of their personnel file.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
The injured woman filed a workers’ compensation claim with the employer which led to the deterioration of the relationship and eventually the woman quit the job. The employer’s insurance denied coverage citing that she left the job voluntarily.
The woman appealed the denial of her claim to the NH Department of Labor.
Personnel File Access
In preparation for a hearing of that appeal the Coolidge Law Firm requested access to the personnel files which the employer refused. We filed a motion with the NH Superior Court and were awarded costs and fees, and we were granted access to the personnel files. The Department of Labor found “management pressure that appear[ed] to have originated in retribution for reporting an injury” and our client was afforded full workers’ compensation benefits.
Supreme Court Order
The case eventually went in front of the NH Supreme Court which affirmed the lower court’s decision that former employees shall have access to their personnel files.
Our perseverance enabled a decision of the Supreme Court which guarantees all employees access to their files. We fought hard and were able to get a positive decision at both the court levels and before the New Hampshire Department of Labor.
The Coolidge Law Firm eventually obtained not only full workers’ compensation benefits and a permanent impairment award for our client, but also a positive result for all (current or former, injured or not) employees in New Hampshire.