Records Retention

You need record retention guidelines – from organizing personnel files and electronic records retention policies to control document management and more.

Business Management Daily provides personnel records retention guidelines, helping you to improve your hard-copy and electronic record retention.

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A key part of the ADA is the so-called “regarded as” rule. Essentially, it says that if your organization treats an employee as if he or she is disabled, then the employee earns the job protections provided under the ADA—even if he or she isn’t truly disabled. What does it take to “regard” someone as disabled? It can be as simple as jotting “disabled” on an application or employee paperwork.

A progressive discipline system is the best way to correct employee performance problems. It’s also the best way to protect against wrongful termination lawsuits. It allows you to ensure that any employee fired because of inferior performance was treated fairly and in accordance with your company’s policies. Here’s a five-step model for progressive discipline:

Employers have a duty to protect their employees from identity theft. The federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) says employers that negligently or purposely let employees’ personally identifiable data fall into the wrong hands can face fines of up to $2,500 per infraction. Here are six tips on developing a data security strategy:

Question: “I’m concerned that my new boss may have unrealistic expectations about my abilities.  After joining this company, I worked for three managers who all gave me outstanding appraisals.  However, my most recent supervisor, “Ms. Jones,” decided to lay me off. Fortunately, I have been offered a position by a manager in another department, “Mr. Smith.”  After hearing about this, Ms. Jones said, “Mr. Smith will soon find out that you don’t walk on water.”  When I mentioned this remark to the HR manager, she said the glowing reviews in my personnel file create the impression that I can do anything. I asked if these comments could be removed to avoid misleading people, but she said no. Now I’m worried about disappointing Mr. Smith and losing another job. How can I lower his expectations?” — JPK

True or false: Employees are either creative or they’re not—creativity isn’t a skill you can teach. False. Managers can play a key role in creating an environment in which employees will want to look for new ideas. Share this article with your supervisors to help tap employee creativity.

Imagine this nightmare scenario: You’ve contracted with a vendor to enter personnel data into a new computer system, including employees' Social Security numbers, addresses, names of dependents, health records and bank account routing numbers. Then the vendor notifies you that employee data was somehow stolen or lost. What do you do?

Q. I recently fired an employee for performance problems. At the end of the termination meeting, he asked for a copy of his personnel file. Do I have to give discharged employees copies of their personnel files?

Q. One of our employees has asked to review his personnel file. Must we grant his request?

When a secretary posted a question on our Admin Pro Forum recently, she heard plenty of advice from admins who have trouble getting supervisors to adhere to deadlines. Here's a sampling of their “been-there-done-that” advice:

American workers can access the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging and other forms of electronic communications from anywhere at anytime. While electronic communication helps people do their jobs, it also leaves a trail. A telephone conversation relies on the memory of two participants, but e-mail and IM discussions can be preserved for years to come. And, given the casual way so many people fire off e-mail these days, that can spell legal trouble for employers.