For most people, record keeping is a burdensome task that is ideally completed and forgotten. Files are shipped to an offsite location and never looked at again. This antiquated view has led to losses for organizations of every size in complicated disputes across the country. The courts have set high and unflinching standards for record keeping, and often the outcome of a case is determined by which organization is better organized and more compliant. Even more stringent documentary evidence is asked of public institutions and government agencies. Ricoh is a leader in this space and allows this evidence to be accessed easily. In fact, this issue was a key driver in the City of Maple Ridge’s decision to move forward with Ricoh’s solution.
When a lawsuit or claim is filed with the courts, a specific set of actions is triggered. These actions are known as the discovery process. The discovery process is a pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit in which each party can obtain evidence from the other party. This process may include a request for answers to interrogatories, a request for the production of documents, and a request for admissions and depositions. This process can be extremely time-consuming and expensive, particularly if the pertinent documents are not easily accessible. Part of this process includes an Affidavit of Documents. This document is a listing of files relevant to any matter or issue in a proceeding that are or have been in a party’s possession, control or power. The listing is a statement made under oath.
From an evidentiary point of view, there is an expectation that the two parties should have a very similar affidavit of documents. For example – in a contractual dispute, the contract should appear in the affidavit of documents for both sides.
- Employment agreements;
- Interview Notes;
- Contract changes;
- Pay stubs;
- Records of compensation changes, promotion, demotions or changes in responsibilities;
- Performance reviews;
- Training documentation;
- Disciplinary notices and remedial actions taken;
- Complaints filed with HR by the employee;
- Any other relevant information;
In these cases, the aggrieved employee often has a meticulous inventory of documents, but municipalities which often look after hundreds or thousands of employees have much more demanding record requirements.
In cases where a local government doesn’t have their documentation in order, there may be a large gap between the employee’s affidavit of docs and those of the offices. These cases are frowned upon by judges because it indicates that the organization doesn’t have its affairs in order – or worse – that a municipality is purposely withholding information at the discovery stage. Both of these assumptions may substantiate the employee’s claim.
Ricoh can help implement and maintain HR records as well as properly train staff to use them. Maintaining a complete and up to date set of records for each employee is an important compliance issue that can prevent negative exposure and mitigate damages for the municipality.
The best testament to Ricoh’s expertise in this field is the one you don’t hear about: Large judgments, litigation, and huge settlements make the evening news. A municipality that has its records in meticulous order does not draw such attention to itself.
Ensure your documentation is organized and accessible when you need it. Visit our website for more details.