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I don't recall if my contract had a Non-disclosure agreement for my work and I don't seem to have a copy of it in my records.

How can I request a copy of my contract from HR without appearing suspicious? What's the standard procedure and is it confidential from other departments? Will it look bad?

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2  
Even though it's not fair: they will be suspicious and in my experience they have no reason to keep it confidential from your manager, etc. Tread carefully. – NickC Apr 10 '12 at 22:19
up vote 23 down vote accepted

Just ask. You're not obligated to tell them why you need another copy of the contract you signed, and even if an HR person is "suspicious" of why you are asking, you do have an answer: you want to fact-check something you signed your name to -- that's a good thing, both for you and for them (you want to make sure you're in compliance).

As for confidentiality, assume everything having to do with employment is confidential. Even if it isn't, just assume it is unless and until HR explicitly tells you otherwise.

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If you're asked why, just say you want to update your files. It really shouldn't be a big deal and it's nothing to be worried about. The trouble with having to sign a lot of first day paperwork (which is very common) is that you're nervous and you might lose copies of what you signed. – Scott Wilson Apr 10 '12 at 21:55
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Often landlords or leasing agents want to see proof of employment that contains salary information. This can be a handy excuse... – hairboat Apr 11 '12 at 0:27

Just ask. You did a round of cleaning up all your documents at home (which you should do once in a while) and you just can't find the employment contract with your company. To make it look better, tell them you found the contracts with your two previous companies, which are quite useless now, but not the one with your current company. Since this is something that you should have (there is no need for any specific reason, but it's obvious that you should have a copy of your employment contract), could they please make you a copy?

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Hey HR,

I need a copy of my contract for (select options that apply): - tax purposes, - real estate rental, - confirmation of employment by whoever, - my own records.

I can't access mine at the moment. Would you be so kind as to forward a copy to me please?

Thanks a bunch.

Would do. Amend wording where applicable.

I'd say that just saying you need it to provide "proof of employment" to some organization is likely to be the least suspicious and usually lets them know you need it rather quickly.

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1  
You don't even have to provide an explanation. Is it possible to have a copy of my contract sent to me is a perfectly valid and complete request. Perhaps some apology for inconveniencing them, but that's about it - no reason to divulge information, or (even worse), be tempted to lie about why you want it, if you don't wanna give them the real reason. – rath Feb 16 at 19:17

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