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File Maintenance

What are types of file maintenance in HR?

File maintenance refers to the information stored in employee’s personnel records, retention and destruction policies for such information, and audits on such practices/records.

Employee personnel files should have at least the following: application/resume, education/employment verifications, references, Form I-9, benefits elections and medical paperwork (stored in a confidential section), job title, pay information, and, ultimately, termination/resignation notices.

More detailed files include: offer letter, job description, signed acknowledgement of handbook/policies, any documents related to employment (i.e. contract, transfers, promotions), W-4 and applicable state tax form, performance appraisals, disciplinary actions, employee recognitions, training records, emergency contact notifications and exit interviews.

Most employers have different filing systems for general employee information, medical/confidential information for protected information, and detailed payroll information (usually stored with a Payroll Administrator). Employee files should be in a secure location accessed by authorized individuals only.

Retention policies vary per industry; however, certain information like Form I-9 have strict retention guidelines. So, it’s important to consider any applicable regulations and adopt a retention management policy.

It’s also best practice to periodically audit employee files to ensure information is being stored appropriately and in compliance with applicable regulations. Create a checklist to be certain not only that files are stored correctly but also to check individual files for required information.


June 23rd, 2017, 8:01 PM |  Posted in: Human Resources Management |
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Break Room

In Michigan, are employers required to provide a break room for employees to have lunch?

Neither federal nor Michigan state law require private employers to provide rest breaks or meal periods for adult employees, let alone break rooms.

Though it’s not legally mandated to provide a break room, many employers do so as a benefit to employees. It’s well known that employees are more productive at work when they’re able to rest and get away from their work for even a short period of time. Further, providing a separate room for employees to step away from their work responsibilities while still remaining at the worksite is a simple way to increase employee morale and satisfaction.

June 23rd, 2017, 7:23 PM |  Posted in: Benefits |
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PTO Accrual Dates

If an employee gets 10 PTO days after 90 days employment, does his next accrual date change to start date plus 90 days? This is in Louisiana.

Paid time off (PTO) policies are considered a matter of agreement between employer and employee. Thus, employers are generally free to adopt PTO policies at their discretion. This includes accrual dates and plan years.

Typically, a probationary period doesn’t extend an employee’s anniversary/renewal date. So, the employee’s next accrual date would be his anniversary date.

It’s worth mentioning that although there is no current federal law regarding PTO administration, some states have adopted laws on the matter. Louisiana is one of them.

Under Louisiana law, vacation time is considered earned wages. So, earned but unused vacation time must be paid out to employees upon separation from employment.

June 23rd, 2017, 7:04 PM |  Posted in: Benefits |
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Holiday and PTO

A company has a policy of 28 Personal Days Off (PTO). The company has no recognized holidays or sick time. The company operates 24-7 7 days a week. Under Florida laws, if the employee chooses to work a holiday can the company dictate that PTO must be taken and the employee not permitted to work?

There is neither federal nor Florida state laws that regulate whether an employer must allow an employee to work. Work schedules are at the discretion of the employer. So, an employer may prohibit an employee from working a set day, like a holiday, as long as the reason is non-discriminatory.

Protective characteristics are defined by both federal and state laws and include age (over 40), disability, race, national origin, citizenship status, religion, and gender (including pregnancy and sexual orientation).

So, for example, an employer may not prohibit all women from working overtime or require non-citizens only to work holidays.

Employers are also able to adopt PTO policies at their discretion. This includes requiring employees to use PTO under certain circumstances such as for a holiday. Such requirements must be applied uniformly and in a non-discriminatory manner.

June 23rd, 2017, 6:55 PM |  Posted in: Benefits |
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Clergy Suspension/Termination

If there is a contract between clergy and a duly elected committee of the church body that states employment can be ended by either party with 30 days notice, does the committee-after speaking with the clergy about under/non performance of specific job duties and/or gross misconduct-have to suspend them for the 30 days in the contract before termination or should they follow the 3 day rule of thumb?

Whenever an employment contract exists, it’s best practice to adhere to it. So, if the contract clearly states that the employee will be given 30 days notice of termination, then the clergy should be given 30 days notice.

It’s worth mentioning that such advanced notice of a termination is unusual (unless it’s for a layoff or downsizing). It’s more common to require the employee to give notice of resignation but allow the employer to use its discretion in issuing immediate termination notices depending upon the situation. For example, if a clergy was caught stealing would you really want to give him/her 30 days notice.

Carefully consider the wording of the contract and apply it as necessary. If the wording is vague, then consider any past practice or how a reasonable individual would interpret the wording.

June 23rd, 2017, 6:43 PM |  Posted in: Termination |
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