• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly

Personnel Files

Tell bosses: Follow 3 cardinal rules to document discipline

02/02/2012

To be successful, employee feedback should be routine, not a once-a-year event. In the same way, managers should make documentation of employee performance, behavior and discipline a regular habit. But how managers document their observations can mean the difference between winning and losing, should an employee ever decide to take you to court.

Is there a way to ensure sensitive investigation records remain confidential?

02/02/2012
Q. One of our employees has just filed an internal complaint claiming that she has been sexually harassed. We are concerned that if we discipline the alleged harasser based on our findings and note this incident in his personnel file, he may demand to inspect our investigation records. May we avoid this by maintaining a separate investigation file?

Should we retain copies of I-9 documents?

01/12/2012
Q. We recently decided to start making copies of documents that employees provide to complete their I-9 forms (driver’s license, etc.).  Do we need to go back and complete new I-9s for employees hired before this date or ask them to provide the documents again so we can make copies?

Use performance logs to simplify employee reviews

01/10/2012
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

12/08/2011
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?

11/23/2011
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

11/15/2011
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

09/28/2011

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

07/06/2011
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?

06/23/2011
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?