If you’re ever sued for an employment case, the first thing the attorney will ask for are the employee handbook and the employee’s employment file. So it’s smart to have well-written policies and a good paper trail. When you document items, don’t back date, don’t over-document, document the events as they occur, date all documents, sign all documents, get the employee’s signature, and inform the employee that the document will go into their personnel file.
The documents that should be in every employment file are: the job description, a completed job application, the offer letter, an acknowledgment of receiving and reading the employee handbook, confidentiality and non-compete agreements, form I-9, W-4s, new-hire reporting, employee benefits, performance evaluations, customer and coworker complaints, awards, warnings and disciplinary action, attendance or tardiness records, etc. You should let the employee add to their file and review it periodically
If there are mistakes, make sure to correct them. Keep the employment file confidential. Allow your employees to access their file with supervision and inform your employees when you add something to their file.
Finally, make sure you comply with government reporting requirements and keep records of the reports.