Benefits and Pitfalls of Electronic Recordkeeping

In yesterday’s Advisor, attorney Catherine Gray covered the basics of electronic recordkeeping; today, its benefits and pitfalls, a warning about shadow records, plus help with the most basic records of all—job descriptions.

Gray, an associate in the Hartford, Connecticut office of Robinson and Cole LLP, delivered her remarks at BLR’s National Employment Law Update recent, held recently in Las Vegas. Here’s her take on electronic recordkeeping.

Benefits of electronic storage of records:

  • Eliminates need to maintain separate files because electronic indexing creates different levels of documents
  • Minimizes cost of storing employee records for long periods of time
  • Back-up systems minimize concern that records could be destroyed
  • Electronic security
  • Easy retrieval of targeted documents

Potential Pitfalls

  • Systems must be in place to make sure all documents are accurately and completely scanned, properly indexed, and retained as required
  • Electronic files must be kept secure and procedures put in place to protect records when portable devices are used
  • Steps should be taken to capture information in shadow files
  • System may be expensive for smaller companies

Destruction of Records—Whatever the Format

However you decide to maintain records, consider the following when destroying them:

  • Insure compliance with statutory retention requirements
  • Be wary of litigation and e-discovery requirements
  • Consider privacy issues
  • Obey federal and state laws protecting information
  • Use shredding or other appropriate technique for disposing of paper records
  • When disposing of electronic media that contains employee information, take care that is truly disposed of

Warning Over Shadow Files

One thing many HR managers forget is “supervisor shadow files.” If information is used for making employment decisions, it should be in the company personnel file, not just the supervisor’s file, Gray says.

Set that keyboard aside! Your job descriptions are already written. Click here to see why thousands of managers have a permanent place in their offices for BLR’s classic Job Descriptions Encyclopedia.

Job Descriptions Are Part of Recordkeeping

One of the important points Gray makes is that job descriptions are part of your recordkeeping process. They need to be maintained, updated, and managed just like your other important records.

How about your company’s job descriptions? Up to date? Complete with all essential functions clearly delineated?

If not—or if you’ve never even written them—you’re not alone. Thousands of companies fall short in this area.

It’s easy to understand why. Job descriptions are not simple to do—what with updating and management and legal review, especially given the ADA requirement of a split-off of essential functions from other functions in the description. Wouldn’t it be great if your job descriptions were available and already written?

Actually, they are. We have more than 700, ready to go, covering every common position in any organization, from receptionist right up to president. They are in an extremely popular BLR® program called the Job Descriptions Encyclopedia.

First created in the 1980s, the “JDE” has been continually refined and updated over time, with descriptions revised or added each time the law, technology—or the way we do business—changes.

Prewritten job descriptions in the Job Descriptions Encyclopedia now come with pay grades already attached. Click here to try the program at no cost.

Revised for the ADA, Pay Grades Updated

There was a major revision, for example, following the passage of the ADA. In fact, BLR editors reviewed every one of those 700 descriptions to ensure they were ADA-compliant.

Another enhancement was the updating of pay grades for each job. According to our customers, this is an enormous time-saver, enabling them to make compensation decisions even as they define the position. You can see a sample job description from the program by clicking here. (Yes, it is the one for HR Manager—Pay grade: 38.)

The BLR Job Descriptions Encyclopedia also includes an extensive tutorial on setting up a complete job descriptions program, and how to encourage participation from all parts of the organization. That includes top management, the employees, and any union or other collective bargaining entity.

Quarterly Updates, No Additional Cost

Very important these days, quarterly updates are included in the program as a standard feature—key at a time of constantly changing laws and emerging technologies. We’ll send you new or revised descriptions every 90 days. And the cost is extremely reasonable, averaging less than 43 cents per job description … already written, legally reviewed, and ready to adapt or use as is.

You can evaluate BLR’s Job Descriptions Encyclopedia at no cost in your office for up to 30 days. Get more information or order the Job Descriptions Encyclopedia.

Download product sample
Download list of job descriptions included

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