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Personnel Files

Managing electronic records: Email purging guidelines


Smart organizations educate their employees about acceptable email use and follow a policy of regular computer-file purging to keep the company network free of unnecessary data  storage. But what …

Exit interviews: Use them to cut turnover, unveil legal risks

THE LAW. While you’re not required to conduct exit interviews with departing employees, federal employment laws do govern how you must handle certain information heard during such meetings.
For …

All-Electronic HR Files? Your Call if State Law Agrees


Q. You recently said that I-9 forms can now be stored electronically. To save on office space and filing time, our department is considering scanning and electronically filing all personnel files and documents. Is this OK? —S.S., California

Consider switching to electronic I-9s; Congress gives the OK

Issue: You’ll soon be allowed to process and store I-9 forms electronically. Benefit: Save time and money on I-9 processing, especially if your organization …

Skeptical of ‘Spouse’ on benefit plan? Ask for proof


Q. A few of our employees have added their spouses to our health benefits plan. We’ve heard through the grapevine that some of these “couples” aren’t actually married. Can we check on this without being discriminatory? —L.C., Illinois

Congress gives OK to maintain I-9 records electronically

Current law requires you to obtain a handwritten signature from each new hire on an I-9 Form to verify the person’s work eligibility. And you must retain each I-9 in paper …

Prepare for HIPAA’s final phase: the security rule

It’s back … Just when you thought you’d heard the last word about complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the final compliance phase is just around the …

Set tight time limits for keeping job applications


Q. Our employment application states, “This application will remain active for six months.” Is this time frame advisable? How long should applications remain active? And how long should I keep completed applications? —K.S., Minnesota

Are you doing enough to stop employee identity theft?

Your employee records are a gold mine for identity thieves. How should you secure them? A new Society for Human Resource Management survey says 95 percent …

Starting to hire again? Heed new-hire reporting rules

Issue: Federal and state laws require you to file certain data about new employees. Risk: Many employers overlook those requirements, risking per-employee …