Top Tips for Maintaining Employee Files and Documentation

Every human resources department needs good documentation, especially when it comes to maintaining employee files. Your employees should have proper paperwork from the time they are hired until they leave your company. It’s what keeps businesses compliant and protects them from frivolous litigation.

When the paperwork gets lengthy and burdensome, problems exist. When you consider all of the documentation that HR wants workers to complete, present, and keep, it adds up to a substantial amount. HR departments must devise a method for quickly gathering and storing the documents required for each employee. Maintaining your company’s compliance with local, state, and federal laws requires a strong record-keeping strategy that puts all employee documents in one area. You should not be the employer that has to find out the hard way how important it is to maintain proper employee records.

Keeping Information Separate

As a basic rule, maintain every job-related documentation in a distinct, named file with a specified naming pattern for simple access. You will need to maintain many types of employment documents, such as:

Onboarding Documents

Onboarding is a term used in the human resources sector to describe the process of bringing a recently recruited employee into a company. Onboarding is a vital aspect of assisting employees in understanding their new roles and responsibilities. It’s the procedure that allows them to blend in with the rest of the organization. The onboarding process includes a variety of events, ranging from job offers to team training. Onboarding might span anywhere from a few days to a year, although it normally lasts at least a few months. When the onboarding process is over, employees should feel confident and capable of working within the organization. When onboarding an employee, it is important to keep all records of the employee in a file for future reference. It is your job as the employer to maintain employee records secure. You can gather documents from employees during onboarding and their employment.

Confidential Information

This file is created when the employee is employed for the first time — these are your onboarding documents. This includes any background investigations or drug test results, as well as the employee’s date of birth, Social Security number, and any other personally identifiable information requested at the time of recruitment and/or hiring. Human Resources is frequently the sole department that has access to this information. This material might potentially be utilized in the event of a workplace inquiry. Managers and supervisors should not have access to this file since they do not require this information while examining or evaluating the performance of the employee or history.

Personnel File For Employees

Typically, this file will include the majority of the records during the employee’s time with the business. This file should contain all paperwork about the employee’s performance. The following items may be included in the documentation:

  • Onboarding documents
  • Employee’s current tax withholding elections
  • Evidence of eligibility for employment
  • Disciplinary actions or warnings
  • Any corporate policies acknowledgment
  • Changes in compensation
  • Management’s proposals for improvement
  • Performance assessments and annual reviews
  • Job duties and responsibilities, as well as the company’s role
  • Records of terminations
  • Exit Interviews

When it comes to assessing prior performance in light of an anticipated promotion or shift within the business, this file may be quite useful. Managers may request this file to aid in decision-making because it contains a comprehensive analysis of an employee’s work history. External information, such as training and education credentials, as well as client or customer recommendations and accolades, may be stored in this file.

Job-Related Medical Records

Although not every employee has a medical file, if you do have medical information for your employee, it must be kept in a separate file. Any medical documents or interactions relating to an employee’s medical needs or leave of absence would be kept here. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), doctor’s notes for any prolonged leave approval, and even Workers Compensation claims should all be maintained separately from the employee’s normal personnel file. Remember that this might contain remarks from Human Resources about the process of interaction or emails from employees requesting a special accommodation. Once supplied, the employee’s medical record must be stored in this file, which is not available to the employee’s management.

Disciplinary actions

Employers should preserve all work-related data in an employee’s general personnel file, including hiring records, performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, and job descriptions.

An employer’s disciplinary action is a response to issues with an employee’s performance or behavior. It might be a verbal or written reprimand, or it could be the loss of employee benefits. Disciplinary actions are used to address conduct and document problems. Employees might be irritable, reckless, and uncooperative in some situations, making life difficult for the entire workforce. As a result, managers must devise appropriate responses to the issue.

When verbal warnings fail, disciplinary action against an employee is usually the next recourse prior to termination. However, while this action plan may be effective, it is a sensitive topic for the workforce. It can have an impact on employee happiness, loyalty, and motivation. Both the employee and the management may feel uneasy when disciplinary action is taken in the form of a verbal warning, a written warning, suspension, or termination. Although few individuals enjoy delivering or hearing a reprimand, it is vital to have a disciplinary procedure in place and adhere to it. Nevertheless, whether written action or verbal warnings, everything should be documented and kept in the employee file.

Importance of having and maintaining employee files

 Keeping correct records for companies may assist in recruiting, uncovering talent shortages, and saving time while doing administrative responsibilities. This is in addition to the assistance these files contribute to defend your company against lawsuits. Examine the reasons above to increase the accuracy of your employee records if you’re seeking one strategy to strengthen your Human Resources department.

Contact a Florida Business Attorney to Develop Sound Information Retention Policies

Maintaining proper employee files can often time make or break your defense to an employment lawsuit, especially those alleging discrimination. It is important to speak with an employment attorney to set up policies and training for your HR department staff. Starting a business in Florida is always a good idea: it’s reasonably easy with the help of an expert business formation attorney. The employment attorneys at The Walsh Law Firm, LLC in Florida are here to help you. Contact our office today!