Poole v. Orange County Fire Auth.Annotate this Case
The supervisor of Plaintiff, a firefighter, maintained a “daily log” regarding the employees he supervised. The daily log consisted of notes that memorialized the supervisor’s thoughts and observations of employees, which he used as a memory aid in preparing performance plans and reviews. Plaintiff and the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association filed suit seeking to require Defendants to comply with Cal. Gov't Code 3255 before including adverse comments in Plaintiff’s personnel files. Specifically at issue was whether section 3255, which gives a firefighter the right to review and respond to any negative comment entered into his or her personnel file “or any other file used for any personnel purposes by his or her employer,” gave Plaintiff the right to review and respond to negative comments in the supervisor’s daily log. The Court of Appeal concluded that section 3255 required that Plaintiff be given an opportunity to respond to the negative comments in the log before they were made known to the employer. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the log was not shared with or available to anyone other than the supervisor who wrote the log, it did not constitute a file “used for any personnel purposes by his or her employer,” and therefore, section 3255 did not apply.