The Workplace Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for members of the workforce navigating the professional setting. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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?

share|improve this question
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
Is this a separate NDA, or do you not have a copy of your contract (which may include an NDA)? The body of your question seems to imply the former, but the title seems to imply the latter - I think different approaches would be appropriate, depending on which case applies. – Mark Bannister Apr 11 '12 at 8:50
@MarkBannister there was no separate NDA, I can't find my copy of my contract period. – Rarity Apr 11 '12 at 13:14
up vote 18 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.

share|improve this answer
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
Yeah, not a big deal. It's official records. There's no reason everyone shouldn't have access to a copy whenever they want. – jefflunt Apr 10 '12 at 21:59
Often landlords or leasing agents want to see proof of employment that contains salary information. This can be a handy excuse... – abby hairboat Apr 11 '12 at 0:27
@AbbyT.Miller Unless you're a recent hire any paperwork you signed when you started is likely to be severely out of date WRT your salary. – Dan Neely Apr 19 '12 at 18:34
Just say "i was having a clear out of old papers and accidentally my contract got misfiled" – Neuro Aug 10 '12 at 20:03

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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.