Thursday, December 4, 2008

3 Big Employee recordkeeping mistakes

Mistake #1: Keeping all employee information in one file.

An employee’s personal information should not be mixed with their employment related information. If a supervisor has access to information concerning a worker's age, health status, or workers' compensation claim, for example, an employee could file a discrimination claim based simply on that access, whether or not the supervisor sought and/or used that information. The employee’s main file should not include any information that may be construed as discriminatory, such as the employee’s date of birth, marital status, medical history, citizenship, and the like. This information should be kept in a separate secure file, only accessible to those with a need to know.

Mistake #2: Being unaware of what records to keep

The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires employers maintain employee I-9 forms, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers retain employee payroll information, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to retain application forms and resumes, the Family Medical Leave Act requires employers keep records of employee requests for leave…with all the different laws governing employer recordkeeping practices it’s difficult to know what to keep and what to toss. Below is a list of what should be kept in employee personnel files:

Resumes and employment applications – even if you don’t hire the individual:

New hire paperwork: offer letters, employment agreements, I-9 forms, non-compete agreements, employee handbook acknowledgements, direct deposit authorizations, W-2 and W-4 forms, emergency contact forms

Performance appraisal forms and performance related documentation, such as discipline notices and recognition forms and Employee grievances

Payroll reocrds, timesheets, and wage related reports

Time off and leave requests

Job descriptions

Exit interview and reasons for termination

Mistake #3: Failing to keep records secure.

All employee reocrds should be secure at all times (under lock and key), only accessible by those with a need to know.