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What’s in Your Personnel Files?

5 Best Practices for Storing Employee Information
By: Caty DeLone, HR Consultant

The personnel file is often overlooked as simply a necessary storage unit for your employees’ information. But did you know that an employee’s personnel file is considered a legal document? Should an employee ever question your company’s actions in a court of law, the personnel file can be your greatest ally or threat, depending upon the information contained within it.

The questions then arise: What information should and should not be kept in an employee’s personnel file? How many files should HR maintain for each employee?

Below are five best practices to keep in mind when managing personnel files:

Practice 1: Privacy

Keep all personnel information in a locked and secure place to ensure the privacy of your employees. Your employees trust HR to keep information—such as their home address, social security number and birthdate—confidential, and it is imperative to maintain that trust.

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The FLSA rule is “blocked”…now what?

Right before the effective date of December 1, 2016, the Department of Labor’s final rule updating overtime regulations, was blocked by a Federal Judge in Texas. The Final Rule makes significant changes to salary threshold requirements; according to the Department of Labor (DOL) website:

“The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule:

  1. Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker);
  2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test to the annual equivalent of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally ($134,004); and
  3. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years to maintain the levels at the above percentiles and to ensure that they continue to provide useful and effective tests for exemption.”
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Hiring Tips: Ways to Avoid Hiring Roulette

Hiring TipsWell here we are…right where we knew the economy was headed. Northern Nevada is experiencing exciting and beneficial growth in our region as all the hard work and promises are coming to fruition.

An unfortunate side effect of this growth is a tight employment market—which, in turn, is making it extremely challenging for employers to find good quality candidates. Retaining good employees is another growing challenge. [See Employee Retention a Concern for Nevada Business.]

How businesses—especially existing small businesses—approach hiring is an important aspect of successfully riding the wave of this growth.

Since small businesses often operate in a lean manner, the bandwidth to apply resources to recruitment of new hires is lacking. This can result in rushing and quick decisions, which will come back to bite if an employee is hired without a thorough process.

Use the following hiring tips to ensure

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Employee Retention a Concern for Nevada Businesses

There is good news for Nevada business owners. The economy is improving. More jobs are available. Economic development is a major initiative in Northern Nevada. And, unemployment levels are dropping.

The unemployment rate in Nevada was 6.7 percent for September 2015 — unemployment has not been this low since July 2008! This is a seven-year low and it’s trending about a point lower in Northern Nevada.

Meanwhile, the number of employers continues to grow.

The combination of a lower unemployment rate and increased number of jobs means employers now need to focus on retaining employees. As opportunities abound, employees are enticed to leave. High turnover rates aren’t good for business — one employee turning over can cost a company close to $50,000 in recruiting, training and lost productivity costs.

What Can Be Done to Retain Employees?

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EMPLOYER ALERT: New Form I-9 Required

graphic of new I-9 formEmployers Can Download New Form I-9 Now

The office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a revised version of the Employment Eligibility Verification document (Form I-9) on November 14, 2016.

Employers may use the existing document through January 21, 2017. The new form may also be used right away.

(NOTE: The existing document has a revision date of 03/08/2013 N and expiration date of 3/31/2016)

Visit the I-9 Central website to:

  • Download the new form
  • Learn more about Form I-9
  • Attend an on-demand webinar that reviews the form and best practices
  • Read instructions for completing the form
  • Download the Handbook for Employers
  • Get the desktop widget to access a “fillable” form online
  • Learn more about E-Verify – the online option for verification
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