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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Q. In a previous issue you said employers “must keep certain records separate from personnel files.” What, specifically, does “separate” mean—in separate drawers of the same file cabinet? In separate offices? How far apart do they need to be? —T.S., Illinois

Q. We recently received a subpoena to produce the contents of an employee's personnel file in connection with a lawsuit. The employee is a party to the lawsuit, but the company is not. Do we have to comply with the subpoena? Should we tell the employee about the subpoena? —K.H., District of Columbia

Q. We fired an employee based on an eyewitness account of theft. We documented that report and put it in the ex-employee's personnel file. That person has now hired an attorney and asked to see the file. We feel that we have no obligation to respond. Do we have to turn it over without a subpoena? —E. I.  

A top-performing employee is diagnosed with depression and now says her medication makes it impossible for her to make it to work on time. Must an employer change her work schedule? A job applicant volunteers that he is intellectually disabled but says he can perform his job with a job coach. Is that a reasonable accommodation? Are you prepared to answer those questions ... and more?

New federal court rules for electronic-records maintenance and discovery took effect on Dec. 1, 2006. The rules govern discovery of electronically stored information in federal civil litigation ...

Q. An ex-employee whom we fired is now asking to take some documents from his personnel file. Is he legally allowed to do this? Do we have to give him the information just because he's asking for it? —L.B., North Carolina

HR Law 101: Nowadays, most organizations conduct exit interviews with departing employees to determine why they’ve resigned. Exit interviews can be a great HR tool, but you have to know what questions to ask and, at the same time, what questions to avoid for legal reasons ...

HR Law 101: The FMLA's recordkeeping requirements are less onerous than those of some other federal laws. But you must handle FMLA medical records with the same level of confidentiality as required under the ADA ...

In Pennsylvania, employers must allow employees (or their designated agents) to inspect their personnel files upon reasonable request. The law applies only to actual employees, not to ex-employees or applicants who want to look at their application files ...

The Texas workers’ compensation system is designed to replace the wages of employees who miss work due to on-the-job injuries. The system works as a no-fault guarantee. Employees who can show they were injured while working are entitled to a portion of their earnings and paid medical care for those injuries. They needn’t prove their employer was negligent. In exchange, injured employees can’t sue employers for negligence ...

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