What to Keep in a Personnel File
The basic building block of any Human Resources’ function and/or department is the personnel file. Phone Doctors® keeps a hard copy file of every employee in a central location. A personnel file is made for each employee on the date of hire. Most, but not all, important job-related documents should go in the file, including: Job application and/or resume
IRS Form W-4 (the Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate) Receipt or signed acknowledgment of employee handbook
Forms providing next of kin and emergency contacts
Complaints from customers and/or coworkers
Awards or citations for excellent performance
Records of attendance or completion of training programs
Warnings and/or other disciplinary actions
Any contract, written agreement, receipt, or acknowledgment between the employee and the employer (such as a non-compete agreement, an employment contract, or an agreement relating to a company-provided car), and Documents relating to the worker's departure from the company (such as reasons why the worker left or was fired, unemployment documents, insurance continuation forms, and so on).
Reviewing Personnel Files
You should establish a time to periodically review each employee's personnel file, perhaps when you conduct the employee's annual evaluation. During this review, consider whether the documents in the file are accurate, up to date, and complete. Some questions to consider: Does the file contain every written evaluation of the employee? Does the file reflect all of the employee's raises, promotions, and commendations? Does the file show every warning or other disciplinary action taken against the employee? If the employee was on a performance improvement plan, a probationary or training period, or other temporary status, has it ended? Has the file been updated to reflect the employee's current status? If the employee handbook has been updated since the employee started working for...
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