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The Legal Risk Of Keeping Records Off Site

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in Human Resources

Q We store most of our records off site. Are there any consequences of keeping them there?

A Most state and federal statutes require that records be maintained in a form that is “readily accessible” for inspection. Those statutes, if read strictly, would require that your company be able to produce documentation for an unannounced, on-site audit.

As a practical matter, however, unannounced audits are not very common. If your company is able to retrieve its records upon request within 24 hours, it should be OK in almost all situations. If we’re talking about taking a week to retrieve the paper, then your company will have a problem.

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