Each employer has his or her unique way in which they use to keep or maintain employee records. As a matter of fact, they are required by law to establish an employee and personnel management system. It is, however, paramount to note that an employee requires more than just one file. Files that contain information regarding the staff are important to managers especially when it comes to decisions that touch on their employers. Some of the personnel files contain sensitive information that is usually under the protection of privacy laws. This, therefore, means that the personnel filing system can only take a multi-dimensional approach since some types of information that relates to their employees is highly confidential, and its maintenance requires a separate system that is different from that which is employed when making decisions.
It is a requirement for employers not to put particular items concerning their staff on their general personnel records. Some of the crucial parties that can have access to private information include the employee himself, the human resource staff, the supervisor and the manager in charge of the employees. Other people outside this circle who can access the information are the lawyers who are allowed by the law to subpoena them for lawsuits and also complaints touching on the equal employment opportunity commission. With such kind of potential users and viewers of the employees personal information, the employer has a responsibility to maintain documentation that is factual and unbiased about the employment history of their staff in the personnel records. These records can either be maintained in paper form or can be scanned and maintained electronically. It does not matter what format is used as long as long as the information is properly secured and sustained.
Information that should be kept in a personnel file
In an event where issues arise concerning employee disputes that should be resolved in a court of law, the employees have an entitlement to the documents that have been kept in their personal files. It is for this reason that a personnel file should contain the documentation of decisions about employments that and also signatures or acknowledgements that affirm the employees knowledge on company policies and procedures. Some of the items that can be included are the training records, performance reviews, letter of termination, records of disciplinary action, last-chance agreements and termination letter.
Information that should be excluded from the personnel file
Personal information should not be included in the file of staff. As such, the file should be devoid of derogatory information or that which can be considered subjective in nature. Such types of information should, however, be availed to government auditors whenever the need arises. The reason for them being allowed to access such items is that such information may be used against the company and may subject both the company and employee to the invasion of privacy suits. One of the ways that such instances can be averted is ensuring that certain types of information are kept in separate files. Such information includes medical records such as those with limitations and restrictions, records of hiring such as employment resumes and application forms, records on their payroll, tax records and benefit information such as those of insurance and other types of coverage.
Audit: Personnel Files: Employment (Personnel) Records Audit Checklist (Including Form to Audit Individual Employee Personnel Files). (2015). Shrm.org. Retrieved 21 April 2016, from https://www.shrm.org/templatestools/samples/hrforms/articles/pages/personnelfileaudit.aspxWhat is data management? - Definition from WhatIs.com. (2016). SearchDataManagement. Retrieved 21 April 2016, from http://searchdatamanagement.techtarget.com/definition/data-managementWhat You Should Keep In Your Employees' Personnel Files - FindLaw. (2016). Findlaw. Retrieved 21 April 2016, from http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/employment-law-and-human-resources/what-you-should-keep-in-your-employees-personnel-files.html
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