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Give documents to terminated employees?

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in Firing,Human Resources,Office Management,Records Retention

Q. Must I give employees copies of their reviews, terminations or disciplinary items? They are in their personnel files, but I don’t want them running to an attorney. We are not terminating or disciplining employees with any illegal intent, but these days you can never be too careful. –A.D.

A. The short answer is “no.” The more complete answer is “no, not until they hire an attorney and file a lawsuit.” Then the discovery rules kick in and all of those items—plus much more—are fair game. If the documentation is good, it shouldn’t hurt you to give it to the employee and actually might remove a reason for the employee to go to an attorney in the first place.  

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