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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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Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the U.S., and much of it revolves around the workplace. Employers must erect legal defenses, including safeguarding employees' Social Security numbers, as prescribed by many state statutes.
Medical records are among the most sensitive documents employers maintain in personnel files. They must be afforded the utmost protection, so no transgressions arise regarding the ADA, HIPAA, the FMLA and other similar medically-sensitive federal and state regulations.
Sorting through files can seem like an archeological dig. Every time someone new comes in, that person doesn't understand the previous system and builds a new set of files—electronic and paper—on top.
Make a fresh start in 2012 by creating a new employee record-keeping system. Whether you’re going to stick with paper files, create computer-based folders or go high-tech and store your records in the cloud, you need to create at least four separate sets of records for each employee:

You never appreciate a good performer until you’ve fired a bad performer. That’s because bad performers take so much time and attention to manage. From the moment you sense that an employee isn’t working out—and you set in motion disciplinary steps—you have to imagine a judge and jury watching your every move. That way, you can stand behind your actions without feeling embarrassed or guilty.

W-2s can give you aggravation, sleepless nights, you name it. Here are the critical due dates, as well as six common W-2 errors and easy tips to avoid them:

Would you know how to counter evidence about events that occurred two, three or more years ago? Employees often go back years to come up with circumstantial evidence that their employers are biased.

My friend Marty was CEO of his company, but he often told me he wasn’t its most important employee. For 22 years, Marty liked to say his most important employee was Agnes. The day Agnes died, Marty’s company nearly died too...

A comprehensive document management system can help your business boost productivity, improve the bottom line and stay out of legal trouble. Here are three ways to organize files for easy retrieval, establish a record retention schedule and tame your wild email inbox.

HR Law 101: Your employee handbook should include statements on these topics: a welcoming letter from the CEO, rules and procedures, your employment policies, compensation and benefits, safety and health rules, an affirmative action statement and an acknowledgment receipt form ...

Issue: Maintaining personnel files is a chore, but it's the most important element in defending lawsuits and regulatory claims. Risk: Failing to organize your files correctly exposes you to civil ...

After an injury occurs at work, do you know how (or even if) you should keep a record? OSHA recently unveiled a new online tool, the OSHA Recordkeeping Advisor, that uses a Q&A format to help you decide.

In sharp contrast to optimistic forecasts that technology would rid your company of the “paper monster,” computers seem to have exacerbated the problem. Now, you’re sending, receiving and storing information electronically and printing copies—lots of copies. You may be able to live with the mess, but what will happen someday if you need to get your hands on one of those documents?

Most paper records can be scanned into electronic form, reducing storage costs and allowing users to preserve and access vast databases of records with the click of a mouse. But despite the many benefits of going paperless, a host of legal problems could derail even the best-intentioned digital records plan. Carefully consider these legal issues when transitioning to an electronic personnel records system:

Enacted at the end of 2010, the federal Claims Resolution Act amends the Social Security Act to require that employers report a new hire’s first day of work. That’s in addition to the six data elements already required for new-hire reporting.
In the name of organization, HR professionals and managers alike have been known to accidentally discard a document, whether paper or electronic, that they shouldn't have. In your quest to clean out overflowing file cabinets or e-mail inboxes, take your time and follow these guidelines.

Most people think of 50 as the magic number for the FMLA. “Oh, we have 50 employees, so now we have to comply with the FMLA,” is a popular refrain among HR departments. It is not that simple. The FMLA has two different rules that must be met before you have to offer FMLA leave to an employee—coverage and eligibility, which both have the magic number 50 as a key component.

Eventually, every employer will have to investigate some sort of workplace concern. Whether because of a dispute between co-workers or a need to address unethical or unlawful behavior, workplace investigations are an important and delicate exercise. The following tips will help investigations produce useful results.
Many employers are making the leap to “paperless” HR. Digital records are easy to access and cheap to archive. But despite the many benefits of electronic records storage, a host of legal problems could derail even the best-intentioned digital records plan. Here are the issues to consider before you make the transition.
The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that an employer may be held liable for employment discrimination under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), based on the discriminatory animus of an employee who influenced, but did not make, an ultimate employment decision.
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