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Establish a company policy on e-mail deletion, retention

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

In spite of growing scrutiny from courts and regulators, most employers still do a poor job of managing e-mail business records and preparing for the likelihood of e-mail discovery in court.

Only 34 percent of companies have a written e-mail retention and deletion policy. That's the same number reported in 2001, according to a new American Management Association (AMA) survey of 1,100 companies.

Why is this so troubling? In employment lawsuits, e-mail is the electronic equivalent of DNA evidence, and it's playing an increasingly large role in workplace cases and regulatory investigations. A single e-mail message can bolster your case or crush you in court. In the AMA survey, 14 percent of respondents had been ordered by a court to produce employee e-mail. That's up from 9 percent just two years ago.

Bottom line: Create policy and procedures on the deletion and retention of e-mail.

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