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 records retention schedule ensures that an organization keeps the records it needs for operational, legal, fiscal or historical reasons, and then destroys them when they're no longer useful. You have to know what you have and how long to keep it—legally and for your own business purposes—before you can establish an efficient records management system.

Employers and HR professionals hear it all the time: You must be prepared to preserve relevant documents and produce them if you are sued. You can take some preparatory steps to ensure that you can comply with inevitable litigation holds and are proficiently primed to assist your attorneys should litigation occur. This list of 22 to-do’s can guide your document and data preservation and retention procedures:

"Out with the old, in with the new!" chant managers as they dispose of documents that have accumulated in their office throughout the year. But, in your quest to keep a clean, organized desk, you might run the risk of getting rid of documents you must keep under the law.
Supervisors can learn a lot from others' mistakes, particularly when it comes to employment law issues. Here are four recent court decisions that provide lessons on how supervisors can keep their organizations (and themselves) out of legal hot water.
Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the U.S., and much of it revolves around the workplace. Employers must erect legal defenses, including safeguarding employees' Social Security numbers, as prescribed by many state statutes.
Medical records are among the most sensitive documents employers maintain in personnel files. They must be afforded the utmost protection, so no transgressions arise regarding the ADA, HIPAA, the FMLA and other similar medically-sensitive federal and state regulations.
Employee lawsuits often use personnel files as evidence of wrongdoing by employers. Among the critical HR record-keeping issues involving personnel files are what to include in an employee file, what to maintain in separate files, and how long to retain different types of information.
Sorting through files can seem like an archeological dig. Every time someone new comes in, that person doesn't understand the previous system and builds a new set of files—electronic and paper—on top.
Make a fresh start in 2012 by creating a new employee record-keeping system. Whether you’re going to stick with paper files, create computer-based folders or go high-tech and store your records in the cloud, you need to create at least four separate sets of records for each employee:

You never appreciate a good performer until you’ve fired a bad performer. That’s because bad performers take so much time and attention to manage. From the moment you sense that an employee isn’t working out—and you set in motion disciplinary steps—you have to imagine a judge and jury watching your every move. That way, you can stand behind your actions without feeling embarrassed or guilty.

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