Personnel Record Retention Has Become Increasingly Critical

by on July 2, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Personnel record retention has played a greater role in employment litigation

Basically, what’s been going on in the last ten years is that companies and employers in general are becoming more and more sophisticated in the methods in which they are handling all sorts of information including personnel record retention. Today, you have more than just the file cabinet stuffed to overflowing with personnel records or invoices, work orders — things like that. What you have today is sophisticated computerized personnel record retention system that probably contain as much or quite a bit more information about your employees than your papers files do.

So, as that trend has advanced over the last decade to decade and a half, personnel record retention has played a greater role in employment litigation and really, litigation in general. So, as that trend has accelerated in recent years, we’ve seen courts and the bodies that make up the rules in the various state and the federal rules try to approach this topic.

I’m assuming that most of the folks on this call are dealing in some way whether it’s in a human resources department or in another capacity, but what you’re doing for your company or for you organization is you are managing the personnel function in one way or the other. And one thing that’s very common for personnel departments, HR departments, what have you, is that they tend to generate a lot of information and a lot of paper, most of which is extremely important to company’s business and also to its legal compliance.

So if you’re in a fairly large company or if you’re in a growing company, especially, you’re going to feel pretty overwhelmed from day to day trying to keep up with all the information and paper that’s coming at you and trying to make sure personnel record retention works in a way that it’s going to be useful to the company later on. You don’t want to have stuff just sitting around in stacks if you need a particular document at some time; you want to be able to get to it pretty quickly so that you can get some good out of it.

So inevitably, the problem is similar to the problem that Lucy had in that famous episode of I Love Lucy where she’s standing there at the conveyor belt and just can’t quite keep up with everything that’s coming down the line in her direction. That’s the same feeling about personnel record retention that a lot of clients have on a day to day basis because they have so many people coming in or even if people are going out the door, there’s so much paper and so much information coming their way and so much that they had to juggle at once, that it gets to be a little bit overwhelming.

Edited Remarks from “Personnel Document Retention: What to Keep, How to Keep & Why It Matters” by Matt Gilley

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