Zupkus & Angell, P.C.
Documenting all of your employment practices—including hiring, promotion, and firing processes—is a good idea for many reasons, starting with providing your business a firm grasp of your objectives and your employees a clear roadmap to follow.
But taking the time and effort to record your workplace processes for posterity has an additional bonus with a potential value you should not underestimate: it could protect you against discrimination claims.
For one, documenting your general hiring, promotion, and firing methods and procedures complies with federal and state employment law: documenting the policy demonstrates that you are committed to treating employees equally, fairly, and consistently. If there are defined procedures that must be followed, both as a general rule and in a specific instance, you can better defend your company against discrimination claims.
Among the documents you should consider having: an employee handbook. With this handbook, both employer and employee are clear on their respective expectations and responsibilities.
But as an employer your documentation should not end there. It is advisable to maintain a file for each employee that includes information such as:
- Documents from the application and interview process
- Signed employee offer letter
- Documentation associated with due diligence, such as new employee checklists, signed background check consent forms, and any records obtained in the background check (e.g., from court files)
- Signed copies of the company sexual harassment policy, phone use policy and computer/internet use policy
- Performance evaluations, signed by employee and supervisor
- Disciplinary notices, signed by employee and supervisor
- Incident reports, signed by employee and supervisor
- Any investigations involving the employee, signed by supervisor (and employee if applicable)
- Pay, leave and attendance records
- Promotions and awards
- Basis for termination and procedure (whether involuntary or voluntary), signed by supervisor
- Exit interview, signed by supervisor (and employee if applicable).
By having all workplace events concerning a specific employee documented, you have an established record, should that employee internally complain or actually proceed with filing a claim. Keep in mind that memories fade and recollections can become skewed. Therefore, the best way to protect your business from damaging employment discrimination claims is to have written records of everything that has occurred.
If you’d like to discuss your business’s documentation practices and employment protocols, please contact us or call today: (303) 894-8948.