Employee Recordkeeping in Massachusetts

With limited available time and resources, and efforts focused on development of the product / service offering, very often start-ups neglect to implement “best” or even legally mandated practices in non-mission critical areas.  One such area is employee recordkeeping.

In Massachusetts, for example, employers of 20 or more employees must retain the complete personnel record of an employee without deletions of information from the date of hire to a date at least three years after termination.  Start-ups in Massachusetts expecting to grow to more than 20 employees should bear these requirements in mind from the outset to minimize the difficulty in coming into compliance when the threshold is crossed.

In addition, effective August 1, 2010, Massachusetts adopted a law requiring employers to notify employees within 10 days of placing in an employee’s “personnel record” negative information that is, has been or may be used to negatively affect the employee’s qualification for employment, promotion, transfer, compensation or the possibility of disciplinary action. For more details see Goodwin Procter's August 30, 2010 Labor & Employment Alert.

In light of requirements such as the ones highlighted above, start-ups should consult early on with counsel to develop policies and practices to ensure compliance with applicable laws.

This post was authored by Benjamin Chaset.

 
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