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Personnel Files

Don’t play ‘Name game’ with newly wed employees


Q. One of our employees recently got married. She’s informally going by her new last name, but she hasn’t changed her name on her Social Security card to her married name and doesn’t plan to. We submit all payroll information using her maiden name. Do we face any liability? —L.K., Missouri

HIPAA Rules Aren’t Just For Doctors and Hospitals


Q. I’d like to know if our company needs something like a HIPAA form for employees to sign when we release personal information to others. Is HIPAA only for the medical field? —B.B., New York

Scrutinize resumes that cite ‘dead’ companies


What if you’re seriously considering an applicant, but a good chunk of his or her past experience was at an employer that’s now defunct? The dot-com bust of the late ’90s …

Tighten policy to foil new identity-theft risks

If your organization hasn’t taken identity theft seriously, here are two good reasons to start now: Starting June 1, federal law requires you to properly dispose
of employee background-check information …

Tighten your record-disposal policy, starting this month

Issue: Beginning June 1, a new federal law requires you to properly dispose of personally identifiable background-check data.
Risk: One mistake can result in actual damages, up to a $2,500 …

You no longer need to send ‘questionable’ W-4s to IRS

Employers are no longer required to send the IRS copies of questionable W-4 withholding forms, effective April 14. In the past, employers had to send the IRS copies of Form W-4s …

State law dictates employees’ access to personnel file


Q. An ex-employee whom we fired is now asking to take some documents from his personnel file. Is he legally allowed to do this? Do we have to give him the information just because he’s asking for it? —L.B., North Carolina

Assist ailing employees without fear of triggering ADA

Issue: Who is considered “disabled” under ADA’s definition?
Risk: Employees earn ADA protection if you regard them as disabled, even if their condition doesn’t rise to the law’s definition of …

New motivation to complete your EEO-1 paperwork

If you’re required to file an annual EEO-1 form, don’t let the task slip: The EEOC can get tough with companies that shrug off this duty. Example: The EEOC filed a …

Make privacy a cornerstone of your culture

Confidentiality can quickly become a legal issue in many workplace decisions and activities.