Rules Corner: Documenting Your Employment

Documentation is often viewed as a record of all the inappropriate activities occurring in your office. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The primary reason for documenting your employment is to establish a chronological time line of both the positive and negative events during your tenure. Just as good documentation is the cornerstone of effective discipline, it may also provide the key to an employee’s defense.

While positive events normally speak for themselves, negative events tend to require a little more work. It is critical that notations include any explanation that may negate or mitigate the circumstance(s) around negative events.

Key bullet points about why documentation is important, the types of documentation and what your documentation should include provide an understanding of the need to maintain a historical record of your employment.

Documentation may establish or provide:

  • A lack of notice
  • Evidence supporting a claim that an allegation is false or has beenmitigated
  • A lack of consistency in treatment
  • The sanction imposed is too severe
  • The discipline was based on Title VII or other discrimination
  • Assist in accurately recalling conversations and/or events

There are two types of documentation:

  • Documentation that occurs even though there is no specific issue related to behavior or performance known to the employee
  • Documentation regarding specific issue(s) through an employee’s performance evaluation or through verbal discussion with a supervisor

Documentation should include:

  • Annual copy of your personnel file
  • Performance evaluations
  • Copies of awards, pertinent emails and memos
  • Factual evidence of compliance with a corrective action plan should one be implemented
  • Statement of events occurring around you to include: who, what, when, where, and/or how
  • Maintain an organized method of documentation and remember: Documentation is essential!

*Know your rules and document your employment*

If you have any questions, please contact your UPEA representative at 801-264-8732.


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