January 28, 2021

Secure Document Management Compliance


Effectively managing your workforce requires easy access to the information you need for better decision-making. A critical must-have for achieving this goal is a reliable solution for document management.

Whether you want to give payroll staff access to direct deposit information or give managers visibility into employee performance histories, you need a document management solution to help you comply with applicable laws and protect sensitive employee information.

Core Elements of Employee Document Management

Throughout your employees’ time with your organization, you will collect a sizable amount of information related to their onboarding, performance, benefits and pay. The following are examples of the many employee documents you’ll collect and generate over time:

  • Prehire documents such as resume, application, offer letter, references and background check documents
  • Onboarding forms such as W-4, I-9 and signed policy acknowledgments
  • Performance reviews and any notes or warnings of disciplinary action
  • Benefits information including medical data related to disability and sick leave, claim forms and benefits enrollment data
  • Separation documents such as exit interview feedback, severance agreements and resignation letters

Just as you wouldn’t store all of your organization’s sales and marketing data in one big filing cabinet or digital folder, you shouldn’t with your employee information either. Effective document management goes beyond filing employee forms away in a dedicated file or folder. You’ll need to consider the following factors when managing employee documents:

  • Retention schedule: how long to retain employee documents and the process for removing or destroying documents
  • Access: who can access what employee information
  • Storage: how documents should be maintained over time
  • Security: which policies and practices are in place to protect confidential employee information

When your document management practices take into account key requirements for providing access, storage and protecting employee information, you can elevate HR record keeping and avoid compliance issues along the way.

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How to Overcome Document Management Compliance Risks

To stay in compliance, it’s essential to satisfy legal requirements for collecting and retaining employee information. The Department of Labor sets record-keeping requirements for employers and performs personnel file audits, often with little notice. Other laws that set requirements for storing and protecting employee information include the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Violations uncovered during a Department of Labor audit can range from $1,000 to more than $12,000 per employee per violation. To avoid noncompliance fines and audit penalties, you’ll need a document management solution that can help you overcome risks such as:

  • Losing important documents
  • Keeping documents for too long or not long enough
  • Sharing confidential employee information with those who shouldn’t have access

By taking a holistic approach to document management, you won’t just collect and store employee data. You’ll be able to organize information and forms by employee and stay in compliance with regulatory requirements. Here are the many capabilities you can expect from a comprehensive document management solution:

Integration with Your Workforce Management System

By integrating employee document management with your existing workforce management solutions, you can avoid using a stand-alone document management platform that operates in a silo. You can upload documents directly into employee profiles and keep all related workforce information in one place. You also save money and time that would otherwise be spent managing multiple solutions.

Document Accessibility and Permissions

Tools for categorizing and tagging employee documents allow you to organize files and determine who can access employee information in your organization. With configurable permission settings, you can grant access according to title, function, or another category. For example, you can provide payroll staff with access to payroll and tax information only, while limiting access to documents such as I-9s and beneficiary forms to HR staff. Your document management solution can also allow you to restrict certain actions according to user type—for example, the ability to view, upload, download or delete documents.

Streamlined Management of Leave Documents

A dynamic document management solution can help you keep track of the myriad forms and information related to employee leaves, such as those under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). By keeping all FMLA leave documents organized and easily accessible for internal and audit purposes, you can avoid noncompliance penalties associated with missing or inaccurate forms.

Secure and Unlimited Storage

A document management solution with SOC 2 compliance standards operates at the highest levels of document security. Moreover, as your organization grows, a truly scalable solution grows with it. You can keep all employee documents in one integrated portal and avoid the risks associated with storing important HR records on local hard drives or outdated physical file cabinets, where they can be easily lost, stolen or accidentally destroyed.

Keeping track of employee documents and controlling who can access them is critical to meeting compliance requirements for your business. By organizing employee information and keeping it secure, you not only protect employee privacy, but you also stay prepared in the event of a compliance audit. TCP’s configurable document management solution streamlines your document management process so you can manage your workforce more effectively. Contact us for a demo today.