To what extent can we use electronic systems to store I-9s and other personnel documents? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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To what extent can we use electronic systems to store I-9s and other personnel documents?

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Office Management,Records Retention

Q. I understand that I-9 forms can now be stored electronically. To save on office space and filing time, our department is considering scanning and electronically filing all personnel files and documents. Is this OK?

Get the answers to all your questions on records retention, document management, electronic storage and more in Personnel Records: What to Keep, What to Toss...
A. Yes, an employer may electronically maintain I-9 forms and other personnel files and documents. I-9 forms may be maintained in an electronic generation or storage system that includes:
  1. Reasonable controls to ensure the integrity, accuracy and reliability of the electronic storage system
  2. Reasonable controls designed to prevent and detect the unauthorized or accidental creation of, addition to, alteration of, deletion of or deterioration of an electronically completed or stored Form I-9, including an electronic signature, if used
  3. Time to audit your personnel records system? Use this guide...
  4. An inspection and quality assurance program that regularly evaluates the electronic generation or storage system, and includes periodic checks of electronically stored I-9 forms, including an electronic signature
  5. A retrieval system that includes an indexing system that permits searches by any data element
  6. The ability to reproduce legible paper copies.

With regard to personnel files and other documents, the relevant laws do not prohibit maintaining those records electronically (nor do they specifically address the issue).

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  • Exactly how long to retain job applications, résumés, job descriptions, disciplinary letters, attendance records, leave requests, medical-related data, employment agreements, payroll records, salary information, benefits information and more
  • How electronic storage requirements differ from paper requirements – and how to comply with both sets – without going nuts
  • Which documents need to be maintained in separate files – and why
  • How to handle medical records, and who should – and should not – have access to those files
  • How to create documentation for performance reviews, investigations and discipline so they stave off lawsuits and stand up in court
  • What to do when employees (or lawyers) ask to review personnel files
  • Best practices for destroying records – safely

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