Q. We don’t have a lot of space in our office. Our HR staff shares space with administrative employees and some managers. Must we separate the HR staff from others to protect employee records from snooping eyes? — P.H., Indiana
A. If at all possible, you should separate the HR staff because of the sensitive nature of the information HR professionals handle. For example, any medical information or information related to disabilities must be kept confidential. It would be hard to do that in an open work space shared by non-HR staff.
You should also institute privacy rules for your HR staff. Require any confidential information to be filed away and not left on desks where others might have access (including cleaning staff and visitors). Have your IT staff design computer safeguards to prevent unauthorized or accidental access to HR staff files kept on a shared server or hard drive.
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