Overview: 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
Enhanced with links to applicable employee handbook statements and to streamline content pertaining to private sector employers.
Updated to reflect rules implementing the forthcoming Duluth paid sick leave law.
Updated to reflect proposed regulations that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) tip regulations.
Updated to reflect forthcoming final overtime rule updating and revising the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemption requirements.
July 1 brings many new requirements with which employers must comply, covering topics such as gender-neutral restrooms, e-cigarettes, discrimination and harassment, minimum wage, leaves of absence and recruiting and hiring. This article provides an overview of trending topics in employment law and a list of all new requirements by state.
Updated to include amendments regarding electronic cigarettes, effective July 1, 2019.
As mandated by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), covered employers must provide each employee the Minnesota Wage Theft Notice.
Virginia 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.
Use this form to document the completion of sexual harassment prevention training by a covered employee under New York City requirements.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of recordkeeping.