So you think you’re safe because you document every employment action? Read this lawsuit-losing list of common errors, and see if you’re “guilty” of any of them.
You’ve been sued by a former employee, and now you’re facing the music in court. You’re not worried, though. You’ve documented why you fired the guy, and you’re sure that once the judge sees it, he’ll be singing your tune.
Shock of shocks! Your documentation is found wanting, and now you are … wanting $20,000 to pay the judgment against you!
What went wrong? Here are 9 common problems that can torpedo your HR documentation efforts:
1. Unsigned or undated documents. This is the number-one failure in documentation. Sign and date everything! Have the employee do the same.
2. Illegibility. You didn’t go to med school, so leave the scrawl to the doctors. In court, neatness counts!
HR Documentation in California: How to Avoid Costly Mistakes with Effective Drafting Strategies—webinar next month!
3. Inaccuracy. That document looks perfect, but the facts are wrong. Even one error makes the entire document suspect.
4. Unsupported conclusions. Don’t write “Worker X was drunk” without documenting the reasons you think so—for example, “liquor on breath, slurred speech.” Statements by objective witnesses will buttress your conclusion even more.
5. Waffling. If Mike isn’t making 200 widgets per hour, don’t just write “Mike’s performance must improve.” The judge will ask, “Improve from what to what?” Be specific.
Tomorrow, the rest of the Top 9.
Download your free copy of Training Your New Supervisors: 11 Practical Lessons today!
Some managers have a hard time finding the line between not waffling and not making unsupported conclusions.