You’re a good HR pro and you’ll never get sued, right? It’s entirely possible. But just in case you do end up on the wrong side of a lawsuit, you’d be a sitting duck if you don’t have these three sets of documents in order.
Mauro Ramirez of Fisher & Phillips LLP notes that there are a handful documents that federal district courts almost always ask for during employment cases that allege adverse action.
Ramirez also notes that if the courts don’t ask for these documents, it’s almost guaranteed that a plaintiff’s attorney will — which is all the more reason to ensure they’re in line.
Let’s take a closer look at each piece of information — and why it’s crucial:
- Job descriptions. Supervisors may be able to tell a court what an employee’s duties are, but your best bet for an objective take is the staffer’s official job description. Why does it matter? The essential functions of a job that go into deciding if a disabled employee can do his or her job almost always come from job descriptions. They can also help in addressing workers’ duties and responsibilities for classification purposes under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
- Handbooks. Managers who rely on outdated or old handbook information may think they’re following company policy or procedure when in fact they’re putting their company in harm’s way. You may not think updating your handbook regularly is important (or even top of mind), but it’s time to make it so.
- Performance reviews. It goes without saying, but supervisors who fail to provide honest and thorough evaluation results for troublesome employees are asking for their employers to eat it in court. Explaining inconsistencies to a jury or a judge is an almost-guaranteed way to have people question a manager’s trustworthiness.