Top Human Resource Mistakes: #1 Failure to Keep Good Records

Posted on by HS We Do That | Category HR

By Rebecca Boartfield and Tim Twigg

When it comes to recordkeeping, doctors are typically diligent at maintaining patient records since these records can be used in defense against malpractice cases. Unfortunately, many doctors fail to take the same precaution with employee documents. In fact, some dentists are not even aware that there are required employee documents that must be obtained and kept for certain periods of time.

Each practice should have three different files on each employee. These three files are the “Employee Regular File,” the “Employee Confidential File,” and the “Immigration Form” file.

The employee’s regular file should include the following (not a complete list):

  • Job application and resume
  • Basic payroll records
  • Compensation information
  • Performance reviews
  • Attendance and leave records

The employee’s confidential file should include the following (not a complete list):

  • Medical records
  • Work-related injury reports
  • Investigations into discrimination or harassment complaints
  • Garnishment orders
  • Drug testing results

All employers, regardless of size, are required to have each employee complete the Employment Eligibility Verification form, most often referred to as the I-9. This form should be completed within the first three days of the employee’s employment and should be accompanied by the proper documents establishing identity and citizenship. I-9’s should be located in a separate file and kept for 3 years after hire or 1 year after termination,

Records retention requirements vary with the type of information in the files. In addition, the statute of limitation for filing claims against employers varies greatly. In general, a good rule of thumb is to keep all personnel and confidential records the length of employment, plus 4-6 years after termination. This will cover all laws and statute of limitations.whichever is longer.

Check back next week for the conclusion to our series on Human Resources mistakes – 3 Keys to Preventing Lawsuits - or schedule a free consultation to learn more.

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