Q. What kinds of information and documents should we keep in our personnel files?
A. You should include pretty much all documentation concerning an employee’s history with the company—attendance, pay history, job history, discipline and evaluations—except medical documentation and, perhaps, protected activity information concerning matters such as discrimination and harassment complaints.
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, and other statutes, it is important to protect and keep medical information physically separate from other personnel files.
Make sure if supervisors keep their own files for counseling, warnings or other information, copies make their way into HR’s filing cabinet, too.
- Wipe out harassment or face state and federal lawsuits
- FMLA protects workers before they're eligible
- Be prepared to explain your reasonable rationale for firing protected-class worker
- Warn hiring committee: Never discuss decision-making process with candidates
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