The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

Documentation Requirements in Human Resources

HR Documentation requirements

Documentation is essential in the HR function, and must be properly managed. It can be a pain to keep track of everything – but it’s even worse when you don’t! When there is any dispute with an employee, the first thing reviewed is the written record. Without documentation, a game of “he said, she said” develops and rarely is this resolved satisfactorily.

What do we need to have?

The law requires a great deal of documentation relating to the life cycle of employees and the organization as an overall entity. This starts with the candidates for a position and doesn’t end until after they are separated. Some typical examples that impact all businesses include:

  • I-9 form
  • OSHA 300 and 300A log
  • FMLA paperwork (if you have over 50 employees)
  • COBRA forms
  • EEO-1 annual report (for those with over 100 employees)

and many others documents which are often dependent on your size and industry.

Forms issued by government offices change often but are updated and available on the Internet. A great examples is the new I-9 form. We will post forms on the HR Hacks website to provide you reference the most common version.

It seems like there is so much more?

There are many documents used within the HR function that are not required by law. However, if they are utilized in your organization, it is essential you give thought to  the compliance requirements. The forms in this category include:

  • Employment application
  • Performance review forms
  • Written warnings
  • All other notes and documents kept relating to the employee and the workplace

What do we keep?

There should always be a formal record to indicate communication with employees has occurred around a given workplace incident. This will be used if there is a dispute with unemployment, a discrimination claim, or charge of wrongful termination. At the same time, not every conversation has to have a formal notice signed by the employee put into a file.  There are times when a verbal warning is appropriate, or a manager can make note of a conversation without the employee’s signature. Make this decision based on the severity and frequency of the situation.

It is critical to maintain documentation that is consistent among employees. In many employment disputes, the first thing courts or government entities review is how other similarly situated employees were treated.

The preceding is an excerpt from Lori’s new book HR Hacks!

Do you handle HR for your company and feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions, to the point of exhaustion? The fix is on the way! Click here to find out about more HR Hacks to make your life A LOT easier.

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