Record Retention Policies — An Essential for Employers

April 2nd, 2008

These days with more and more type of records that a business creates and which are recognized by courts, businesses need an effective records retention policy as part of their overall policy and procedure strategy.  Companies need to ensure compliance with both state and federal laws that govern a company’s records.

For instance, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 created record retention requirements that apply to all companies, both publicly traded and privately held.  Section 802 which provides that it is a crime for someone to intentionally destroy, alter, mutilate, conceal, cover up or falsify any records, documents or tangible objects that are involved in (or could be involved in) a U.S. government investigation or prosecution of any matter or in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

A records retention program can protect businesses in litigation and disputes that arise during the course of business.  These programs help ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.  Additionally, evidence of a clear and consistently enforced records retention program, provided it is enacted for valid purposes, will go a long way to convince courts that the destruction was reasonable and will generally provide a “safe harbor” under current rules of civil procedure.

However, while it is important to keep clutter to a minimum, a company can get into difficulties by tossing the wrong paper or deleting an important e-mail.  It is important to have all relevant documents during a lawsuit.  Not having a document can mean the difference between winning and losing in a lawsuit.  A judge or jury may be permitted to conclude that the document contained information detrimental a business should they not be able to product it.

Any policy a company creates should cover both hard copy documents and electronic documents.  Now that electronic discovery has been recognized in law suits, companies need to ensure they review their electronic records with the same careful attention as other documents.  Electronic records include records stored in email; on employee’s voicemail, computers, PDAs, cell phones, external drives, CDs, and DVDs; and on company networks and backup systems.

A comprehensive policy should cover how long to keep a document, when and how to store the document, and how to dispose of the document, will depend on the type of document.  It should also include details on how the destruction of documents should be handled.  Things to consider in this should include how electronic records will be destroyed as well how confidential information will be destroyed.  Additionally, the policy should include a procedure that preserves all records once a company is reasonably anticipates litigation. 

It is important for the success of the policy that employees be trained and be held accountable for compliance.  Additionally, a periodic audit should be held to ensure that the appropriate records are being destroyed. 

Due to the magnitude of legal requirements, as well as the specific needs of each company, it is advisable to consult legal counsel before implementing a tailored records retention policy.  In addition, businesses should consider any industry standards that may affect the holding period of records due to unusual legal circumstances.

123 Responses to “Record Retention Policies — An Essential for Employers”

  1. http://angielskiprzezskype.mlon 09 Dec 2015 at 10:05 am

    Great – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, web site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task.

  2. http://cytrusy.cfon 14 Dec 2015 at 6:22 am

    I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?

  3. gry przegl?darkoweon 22 Dec 2015 at 7:05 am

    You are my breathing in, I own few web logs and infrequently run out from brand :). “Yet do I fear thy nature It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness.” by William Shakespeare.

  4. http://jp.sitewire.eu/on 28 Dec 2015 at 4:40 am

    I went over this site and I believe you have a lot of excellent information, saved to fav (:.

  5. http://prawnik-katowice.gqon 29 Jan 2016 at 9:39 am

    I reckon something really interesting about your site so I saved to favorites .

  6. http://fi.miricoperu.info/on 15 Feb 2016 at 1:39 pm

    It’s truly a nice and useful piece of info. I am glad that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  7. http://cz.muscleview.infoon 10 Apr 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Magnificent. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  8. http://proteinatablete.ovhon 29 May 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I dugg some of you post as I thought they were invaluable very beneficial

  9. Forest Bryntesonon 01 Jul 2016 at 6:30 am

    Howdy very cool site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally¡KI am happy to search out numerous helpful info here within the put up, we want work out extra techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  10. http://abnehmenranking.euon 04 Jul 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I needed to post you this little bit of note to help thank you very much as before for your magnificent pointers you have shown at this time. It is so open-handed with people like you to deliver openly exactly what a few individuals could possibly have marketed as an e book in order to make some money for their own end, and in particular given that you might have tried it if you ever decided. These things additionally served as the easy way to comprehend other people online have a similar desire just as my own to see somewhat more on the subject of this issue. Certainly there are a lot more pleasurable instances in the future for individuals that check out your blog post.

  11. http://fitline-shop24.euon 12 Jul 2016 at 11:14 am

    hello!,I like your writing very much! percentage we communicate extra about your article on AOL? I need an expert on this area to resolve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking ahead to peer you.

  12. http://de.fitline-shop24.euon 14 Jul 2016 at 2:33 am

    Thankyou for helping out, wonderful info .

  13. NMD Adidason 26 Jul 2016 at 12:38 am

    You can definitely see your skills within the paintings
    you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you
    who are not afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  14. Sprawdzeni bioenergoterapeucion 25 Aug 2016 at 2:27 am

    Merely a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw outstanding style and design .

  15. Maile Puffinbergeron 10 Sep 2016 at 3:23 am

    What i do not understood is actually how you’re not actually much more smartly-preferred than you might be now. You are so intelligent. You already know thus significantly when it comes to this matter, made me for my part consider it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested except it is one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your individual stuffs outstanding. At all times take care of it up!

  16. adwokat kraków rozwódon 23 Sep 2016 at 5:02 am

    Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  17. Yahoo results

    While searching Yahoo I found this page in the results and I didn’t think it fit

  18. Catalina Colpaon 18 Jan 2017 at 5:03 am

    I’m still learning from you, as I’m trying to reach my goals. I absolutely liked reading all that is posted on your site.Keep the information coming. I loved it!

  19. Web Siteon 17 Feb 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Hiya very nice site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also? I’m happy to find numerous helpful information right here in the submit, we want work out extra techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .|

  20. Christina Granvilon 18 Feb 2017 at 6:10 am

    You have got incredible stuff here.|

  21. Perry Pavishon 20 Feb 2017 at 11:54 am

    ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???? ??????

  22. Snowman Daikinon 08 Jun 2017 at 7:15 pm

    haha, I love Miley! She is so funny !

  23. ducted heatingon 12 Jun 2017 at 7:47 pm

    I’ve learn a few excellent stuff here. Definitely valuable bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you place to create this type of great informative website.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply