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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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Just about everyone with an ounce of ambition wants to be promoted. But in most organizations, there’s only so much room for managers and supervisors. Still, failure to win a promotion is one of the most frequent triggers for discrimination lawsuits. That’s why HR should carefully track every employee’s performance and progress ...

Q. When making demotion decisions—especially those involving employees in protected classes—what factors should an employer take into consideration to avoid legal backlash? ...

Q. Am I required by law to give my employees copies of documents contained in their personnel files? ...

Q. If a Texas-based company has divisions in several other states, does the Texas law allowing employers to deny employees a look at their personnel files still apply? ...

Q. We’re drowning in paper and would like to go paperless. Can we create strictly electronic personnel and payroll records? — T.P., Indiana ...

If you want to avoid airing your organization’s dirty laundry in public, take note: Before you turn over a copy of an employee’s personnel record, go through the file carefully. Remove any correspondence between the HR office and your attorney. It is technically privileged communication ...

Q. We have several supervisors who insist on keeping their own private files on employees in their departments, especially to record absences and comp days. Is this legal? ...

Q. We have an exempt employee who is consistently late a few times a week, arriving anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours late. Can we discipline him for being consistently late? In addition, can we require him to work at set times—for example from 9 am to 5 pm? ...

An Ohio Office of Management and Budget intern was fired, and a manager has resigned after someone broke into the intern’s car and stole a computer disc containing sensitive state payroll and accounting information ...

You probably heard about last month’s big $11.6 million sexual harassment verdict against former basketball star and New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas. The bad news: Your employees heard about it, too … and it planted a seed in their minds. Will they see your organization’s pockets as the path to a similar windfall? ...

Michigan employees are entitled to look at their personnel files, and the Michigan Employee Right to Know Act sets out the procedure and penalties for employers that don’t allow access. Employees can sue for attorneys’ fees if their employers refuse access, provided they follow the rules. As the following case shows, courts take that requirement literally ...

Employees who begin to feel less valued at work often look for some underlying reason. Often they focus on suspected age, sex, national origin or some other form of discrimination. Then, when a layoff or reorganization costs them their jobs, they sue. Frequently they’ll argue that they should have been offered open positions, even if it would have meant receiving a smaller salary than they had been making ...

Every now and then, you hire a dud. Someone who looks like he has the skills you need comes with an attitude, too. And the employees he’s supposed to inspire and lead wind up rebelling. You know it’s time to cut him. Before you do, start documenting the problems. Be specific. Nebulous complaints about “bad attitude” and “poor ability to get along with subordinates” can look like empty excuses to discriminate ...

Employers that change benefits plans beware! Employees are entitled to know when their benefits will change under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). It’s best to make sure everyone knows about the changes before they go into effect—especially if the new plan requires the employee to do something to qualify for a benefit ...

Don’t try to put up artificial barriers to discourage employees returning from medical leave. The employee probably won’t go away quietly. In fact, he may file a lawsuit alleging some form of discrimination under federal or New York employment law. What’s more, a court probably will allow a trial ...

Peter Giaccio Jr., a boilermaker for New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT), sued the department for leaking the results of a random drug test that revealed marijuana use. Giaccio, being in a “safety-sensitive” position, was subject to random testing, which he failed twice ...

Q. Recently, an employee was involved in a nonwork-related car accident. The employee’s attorney sent the company an authorization letter demanding that we provide the employee’s personnel file in 20 days. It seems the attorney needs the information for a potential lawsuit (unrelated to the company) concerning the accident. Do we have to turn over the personnel file? ...

Q. I’ve read that we shouldn’t keep employees’ I-9s in their personnel files. Is this a suggestion or are there laws that require them to be in separate files? —L.K., Alabama ...

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