Recordkeeping

Editor's Note: Know when to keep, discard and destroy employment documents.

Marta MoakleyOverview: Retaining accurate and consistent records in an organized fashion may be the best defense against: (i) an employee court claim; (ii) regulatory fines; and (iii) misperceptions/mischaracterizations of internal policies and procedures. Failing to keep adequate records renders an organization more susceptible to a court's award of damages.

Optimal recordkeeping practices require striking a balance between too many and too few documents. Employers need to avoid keeping duplicative documents, while taking care to maintain all relevant documentation for the recommended retention period. Identifying when too much documentation is too much, or when silence on a subject may pose greater liability to the employer, is simplified when an organization implements an effective document retention schedule.

Trends: Federal and state agencies have continued their focus on proactive enforcement activities. A number of agencies have added large numbers of investigators and auditors to their ranks, thereby increasing the likelihood and frequency of external audits or investigations for employers. For example, the IRS increasingly conducts audits on employer-mandated reporting requirements, and any applicable underlying documentation. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducts strategic audits of employee I-9 forms. Appropriate recordkeeping habits may assist an employer in avoiding greater penalties for "knowing" violations of the laws by showing, at the very least, "good faith" attempts at compliance.

Author: Marta Moakley, JD, Legal Editor

Latest items in Recordkeeping

  • OSHA Form 300A Deadline Approaching

    Date:
    26 January 2015
    Type:
    News

    Employers subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) recordkeeping requirements must post Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, by February 1. The form should remain posted until April 30.

  • Access To Personnel Files Handbook Statement: New Hampshire

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New Hampshire employers seeking to inform employees of the rules surrounding the review of employee personnel files should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Access To Personnel Files Handbook Statement: Nevada

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Nevada employers seeking to inform employees about their rights with regard to accessing personnel files and the rules and correct procedures for doing so should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Access to Personnel Files Handbook Statement: Wisconsin

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Wisconsin employers seeking to inform employees about their rights with regard to reviewing and contesting information contained in their personnel files and to demonstrate compliance with the Wisconsin law regarding access to personnel files should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Access To Personnel Files Handbook Statement: Massachusetts

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Massachusetts employers seeking to demonstrate compliance with Massachusetts law regarding access to personnel files and to inform employees about the terms under which they may review and contest information contained in them should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Access to Wage Information and Medical Records Handbook Statement: Ohio

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Ohio employers seeking to inform employees about their entitlement to obtain certain wage and medical records and to demonstrate compliance with Ohio law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Access to Records Regarding Potentially Toxic Materials Handbook Statement: Louisiana

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Louisiana employers seeking to educate employees about their right to access certain records related to employee exposures to potentially toxic materials and to demonstrate compliance with Louisiana law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Sony Faces Data Breach Class Actions

    Date:
    19 December 2014
    Type:
    News

    Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. became the subject of three proposed class action lawsuits this week. All three employee lawsuits relate to a breach of the corporation's computer systems related to the unreleased film, The Interview.

  • Employee Discipline: Minnesota

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Minnesota employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee discipline.

  • Disclaimer and Acknowledgement Handbook Statement: South Carolina

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    South Carolina employers should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.