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Why It’s Important to Maintain Your Own Paper Trail.

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

It’s not only your employer who should be keeping employment records, you should too. That way, if there is ever a disagreement with your boss or an audit of your work performance, you will have the necessary documentation on hand to prove that you did everything correctly.


It’s also important to maintain these records for legal reasons- in case anything goes wrong at work and it becomes necessary to file suit against the company for wrongful termination or some other form of unlawful behavior.


HR is Keeping Records, So Should You

In addition to the fact that it is essential to have your own paper trail in order to protect yourself from wrongful accusations by your employer, you should also keep records because HR does. In other words, if you work for a private employer, your personnel file is not actually your property- the company maintains it and can choose what information to include (or exclude).


If you’re unsure which records to keep, check out this list of employer documentation. It’s best to start keeping a paper trail of any documents your employer is keeping, that way you always have access to your personnel records and relevant company policies. This becomes especially important if you ever have to file suit against your employer for unlawful activity.


Keep Documents to Show Your Side of the Story in a Legal Dispute

If your employer is doing something unlawful, you’ll need documents that demonstrate your side of the story. For example, if you’re being harassed at work or wrongfully terminated, records of past good performance evaluations can show that your treatment in the workplace was not based on performance.


Don’t Violate Confidentiality Agreements

It’s important that all employees know what they can and cannot do when it comes to maintaining their own paper trail. If you violate any confidentiality agreements or trade secret obligations, you could face serious legal penalties. For example, if you are caught snooping through your boss’s email in order to find dirt on him/her, you could be fired and also sued for damages. So be sure to keep your records in a safe place (preferably at home) and never violate any confidentiality agreements.


If you’re not sure what to do and when, be sure to contact an employment lawyer before taking action- they will tell you whether or not your actions are legal. If anything does go wrong at work and it becomes necessary to file suit against the company for wrongful termination or some other form of unlawful behavior, an experienced lawyer can help you get the best possible outcome for your case.


We Help Protect Employees’ Rights

In conclusion, maintaining your own paper trail is essential to protecting yourself from wrongful accusations by your employer, and provides evidence of your side of any legal disputes. Always be mindful of what you can and cannot document, taking care not to violate any confidentiality agreements or trade secret obligations.


If you have any questions about your rights in the workplace, contact us for a consultation. We’ll help you weigh your options and gather any evidence you need to build a strong legal case.



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