University of California, San Diego

March 15, 1996
SUBJECT: Subpoenas of Employment Records
This notice is provided as an update and to highlight new legislation, effective
January 1, 1996, that clarifies an employer's obligation to protect employee privacy when employment records are subpoenaed. The California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1985.6, requires that the "Subpoenaing party" who issues a subpoena for employment records must either:
*provide the employer with a written release signed by the employee or
the employee's attorney; or
*provide the employer with a copy of the proof of personal service or
service by mail.
An employer may refuse to produce the records sought if the subpoenaing party fails to comply with these legal requirements.
Any employee whose employment records are sought by a subpoena may, prior to the
date for production, bring a motion under Section 1987.1 to quash or modify the subpoena. In that instance, an employer is not required to produce the employment records unless the court orders production, or the parties, the witnesses, and the affected employee agree to do so. Since an employee has until the date the documents are to be produced to file an objection, the employment records requested should not be produced until the deadline stated in
the subpoena. If, however, the employer has been provided with a written release signed by the employee or the employee's attorney, the employment records may be released prior to the deadline stated in the subpoena.
Please refer to the following documents for designated office of records and general guidance in handling subpoenas: Policy and Procedures Manual (PPM), Records Disposition Schedule, Section 480.20, for a listing of UCSD designated Office of Records; and the UC Business and Finance Bulletin RMP-10, Instructions
for Responding to Subpoena.
If you have questions, please contact Jonnie Craig via electronic mail at jcraig@ucsd or at extension 49659.
Rogers Davis
Assistant Vice Chancellor -
Human Resources