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Personnel Files

Best practices in I-9 retention: When to keep, when to shred

The Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is often a breeding ground for mistakes, some of which can have significant repercussions. Yet despite all of the risks, employers often miss out on one of the very few free lunches in I-9 compliance: shredding or purging all of those really old and errant I-9s that are beyond the Form I-9 retention requirement

5 secrets to keeping your files organized

HR is nothing if not a paper-intensive profession. Keeping your files organized makes a huge difference when you need to access the documents necessary to comply with the law or government regulations, or to respond to an employee lawsuit. These five secrets make the job easier.

Help newlyweds make new names official

Expect an outbreak of wedding bells among your employees later this year. HR and payroll should start preparing now to process name changes.

The personnel records problems you hope you never see

Sooner or later, a tricky edge case will emerge involving your handling of personnel records or other documents that demand unusual sensitivity. Try rating your confidence level in having to respond to each of the situations below.

5 commonly overlooked rules on keeping personnel records

“Into the cabinet it goes, I’ll deal with it later!” This is, too often, the dangerous generic policy adopted by harried HR pros when dealing with the daily onslaught of employee paperwork. How many of the best practices below might your organization be cutting corners on, leaving you open to litigation worries?

Coronavirus leave: Start keeping HR records

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is an attempt to keep income flowing to employees who may not be able to work because of coronavirus- or COVID-19-related conditions. The government has not yet specified exactly how employers will be reimbursed for the associated leave expenses. However, it is safe to say that Uncle Sam will require detailed records of which employees took leave and how much they were paid.

Years later, termination records still win cases

There’s a good reason to retain the employment records of poor performers. In fact, the argument can be made that you should keep those records indefinitely.

Seek confidentiality order if employee wants access to co-workers’ disciplinary records

A federal court hearing a Pennsylvania case has concluded that plaintiffs seeking to compare the discipline they received with that of other employees are entitled to the information, but must keep it confidential.

Warn supervisors: Never delete texts and emails related to employee’s complaint

Be sure to warn supervisors and managers that if an employee has filed an EEOC or internal complaint or a state or federal lawsuit, deleting texts or emails related even tangentially to the underlying complaint can be risky.

Access to Personnel Files: 50 State Laws

No federal law grants employees the right to inspect their personnel files. However, many states do give employees that right and spell out the terms under which employees are allowed to inspect their files. Here’s a state-by-state list of laws governing access to personnel files.