July 2005

An early paper trail

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Record keeping during the recruiting process can help you avoid liability

by Victoria L. Donati and Jason C. Kim
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With the myriad of employment laws currently in existence, it can be easy to overlook the importance of seemingly unimportant items, such as interviews and job applications. But maintaining certain records regarding employees, such as documents related to recruitment, hiring, day-to-day performance and termination, is crucial to avoiding potential liability for unfair hiring practices.

This article will identify records you must keep from the recruiting process. One note of caution regarding the requirements discussed here: This article focuses on federal law and retention requirements. Most state and local laws mirror federal requirements, but some may require longer retention periods. Be sure to check your state and local laws to ensure any longer retention requirements are satisfied.

The recruiting process

The recruiting process is an often overlooked aspect of the employment relationship. Most employers do not pay it much heed because they think they are not liable for what might be said or done with respect to individuals who they choose not to employ. The fact is that such individuals still are protected by federal, state and local employment laws, and treating them improperly can result in serious liability. Such liability can be premised on a number of theories, including unlawful discrimination, harassment, retaliation, privacy violations, contract claims and...

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