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Personnel Files

Prevent new type of lawsuit: Credit-Check discrimination


If your organization uses credit checks in the hiring process, you’d better have a sound business reason for doing so or you could face a new type of litigation …

Keep references to past litigation out of employees’ personnel files


A group of black and Hispanic police officers have accused the NYPD of harassment for noting in their personnel files that they were complainants in a discrimination suit. The notations could damage their careers, their attorney says …

‘Hello, Liability?’ The new trend of telephone testing


Why does “testing” bring about that sledgehammer-in-the-stomach feeling? Maybe because, as students, we never knew quite what to expect. Now, the same is true when it comes to a recent trend in employment-law cases: applicants and employees making phone calls to secretly test whether your organization is discriminating

FMLA: Recordkeeping Requirements


HR Law 101: The FMLA’s recordkeeping requirements are less onerous than those of some other federal laws. But you must handle FMLA medical records with the same level of confidentiality as required under the ADA …

References, Background Checks


HR Law 101: Make it your policy never to hire a candidate without a reference/background check. Your organization could be held liable for “negligent hiring” or “failure to warn” should the employee turn violent on the job. If the employee’s past history would have revealed a problem but you didn’t spot it because you didn’t check, the courts will say you “should have known.” Your firm not only might have to pay damages but also would suffer a loss of reputation …    


‘My lawyer will be in contact’: Enough notice to preserve records


A New Jersey appellate court recently granted a new trial to a former Paine Webber employee who claimed the company fired her for filing a sexual harassment complaint. During trial, the employee claimed Paine Webber withheld or destroyed critical documents

When (and how) can Pa. employees peek in their personnel files?


The Pennsylvania Inspection of Employment Records Law guarantees employees the right to view their personnel files at work …

Should we keep copies of I-9 documentation?


Q. My boss is concerned about the increased penalties against employers who hire illegal aliens. He wants to be sure our procedures are in keeping with the best practices. One question I have: What do we do with the documents that new employees present to comply with the I-9 requirements? Should we keep copies of them? And, if so, where? —G.S.

How to Write Effective and Legal Job Descriptions

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Texas Public Information Act


No specific Texas law allows private-sector employees access to their workplace personnel files, but the Texas Public Information Act does provide that right to public employees …