Employee Files: When More is Better
As much as we may want to simplify our HR processes, not all employee information is best kept in the same place. For instance, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recommends storing Form I-9s in a different file than other personnel records, so they can easily be audited (by you or the government). We also suggest keeping medical records and related accommodation and leave requests in a separate location so you can more easily evaluate what kind of accommodations and leaves you’ve provided in the past. A separate file for these documents should also reduce the number of individuals who have access to sensitive medical information.
And, it may go without saying, but make sure you are diligent about locking up confidential employee information or information you’d simply prefer was not public. Most people cannot resist a glance at a document that appears to contain juicy information but was left in a public place. In some cases, this will only cause you a gossip-fueled headache, but in other cases it could lead to liability for failure to protect confidential information.