Loss of supporting documents needn’t sink your defense — 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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In the ideal employment world, managers never lose performance logs, supervisors always keep duplicate job reviews and personnel files are never lost during office moves.

But in the real world, these and other catastrophes do happen and with alarming regularity.

Hear nationally recognized attorney and record-keeping expert Joe Beachboard explain how to keep up with today’s (and tomorrow’s) electronic record-keeping issues … while providing practical advice on communicating your policies to managers.

So, what's a smart HR professional to do when his or her employer is sued and the records you thought would back up management are gone?

As the following case shows, you can still save the day by locating different electronic or paper correspondence that supports your decisions. If you have legitimate reasons for lost files, explain them. And look for other evidence to bolster your case. E-mail, text messages and notes all can be used as proof.

These days, 70% of corporate records are stored electronically. Those electronic records can be your best legal friend … or your worst enemy. Learn how to manage, maintain and update your electronic records retention schedule

Case in point: When Richard Harding, a 45-year-old, was replaced by someone in his 20s, he immediately sued for age discrimination. When his employer tried to prove Harding had legitimate employment problems, it couldn't find the appropriate records. They were lost in an office move.

But the company was able to find several e-mails that referred to Harding's performance numbers. The e-mails didn't provide details, but they were enough for the court, since there was no evidence that the underlying documents had been intentionally destroyed. (Harding v. Careerbuilder, No. 05-1934, 3rd Cir., 2006)

Electronic HR Records: Compliance/Best Practices Workshop covers:

1. Record Retention: What, Where and for How Long
  • How electronic retention rules differ from paper standards
  • How to know when it’s safe to scan a document and dump the paper original
  • Retention policy changes needed due to the new Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act requirements
  • The best methods for keeping records safe and secure
  • Electronic I-9s: How to comply with the strict new federal rules on completing, signing and retaining
  • The four steps you must include in your electronic I-9 program
2. Enforceable Agreements: What’s Legal in the E-world
  • Legal requirements when allowing individuals to complete applications online
  • What counts as a “legal” electronic signature
  • When can you change company policies via e-mail
  • The key steps to an effective electronic records management system
3. E-Discovery and Information Management
  • Which records you must be prepared to produce if hit with a legal complaint
  • What’s a “litigation hold” and when are you required to apply it to your electronic records disposal?
  • The safest way to dispose of electronic HR records—and the questions to ask yourself before you do so
  • How the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure should alter your policy for storing and deleting company e-mails

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