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Personnel Files

Use performance logs to simplify employee reviews

It happens to every manager: You sit down to prepare a staff member’s review and realize you can remember only what the person has done the past few weeks. Or you allow only a single incident (good or bad) to color your assessment. If you’re relying solely on your memory to evaluate employee performance, you’re […]

Start the new year with new system for employee records

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:

Is it OK to use SSNs as ID numbers?

Q. A few employees have complained that we use their Social Security numbers (SSNs) as their ID numbers. They’re concerned about identity theft. Is it legal to use Social Security numbers for ID purposes?

How to make the leap to electronic HR records

Given the low cost and the easy accessibility of electronic records storage, many employers are making the digital leap to “paperless” HR. 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.

Best reason to retain personnel documents: Employees–and courts–have long memories


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.

Sued for bias? Prepare to hand over personnel files

Personnel records contain information that’s prime material in any employment discrimination lawsuit. An employee who alleges discrimination is entitled to see how she compares with other similarly situated employees, and can do that by reviewing relevant personnel files.

Must we comply with subpoena for worker’s file?

Q. We recently received a subpoena to produce the contents of an employee’s personnel file in connection with a federal lawsuit. The employee is a party to the lawsuit, but the company is not. Do we have to comply with the subpoena? Should we tell the employee about the subpoena?

State Attorney General seeks workers’ comp records for prison

Attorney General Lisa Madison has ordered Central Management Services (CMS), the state agency that processes workers’ compensation payments, to turn over records relating to 230 claims from correctional officers at Menard State Prison. The claims cover repetitive stress injuries allegedly linked to the locking mechanisms on the cells at the prison.

Tap into new online portal for I-9 resources

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services last month unveiled I-9 Central, a new online resource center that pulls together all the agency’s information and advice about Form I-9, Employee Eligibility Verification.

Keep all medical records confidential! Otherwise, normal lawsuit rules don’t apply


Employers are used to breathing a sigh of relief when 300 days pass without learning that a former employee has filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC or the New York State Division of Human Rights. They assume that missing the deadline means the employee won’t be able to sue. Not so fast!