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record retention / comment on employee accidents while working June 2, 2017

KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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record retention / comment on employee accidents while working
June 2, 2017
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record retention
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Ken,
    Thanks so much for your forum and the experts involved with advice! We recently received a subpoena for a past employees records. Long story, short, He is suing someone in a civil action. Nothing to do with us. The defendant has subpoena us as his past employer for all personnel records regarding him and a bunch of other stuff regarding him. To comply, it’s going to be some work digging it all up. Now, I find out, we wouldn’t HAVE TO do most of this if we had a record retention policy in place to clean-up our files. Most of these records would have been destroyed and time saved.
    My question is, do most big companies have policies in place to clean out their customer files to save space as well?   And, do you recommend a certain amount of time to shred customer files that have been out of service for years or keep them forever?
    Best regards,
 Ed
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Response
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    You definitely don't have to keep records forever.  I think IRS regs say 7 years.  You certainly can scan your records and then discard the paper.  You need to keep records as long as you may need them them for your own interests.  That probably comes down to the time within which someone, your employee, your subscriber, your partner or someone else can sue you.  The statute of limitations for contract is 6 years in some states, sometimes less in others.  For tort actions, negligence, it's 3 years, more or less depending where you are.  You can be brought into actions after that time if the action has already been commenced against another party and they decide to bring you in.  
    I think the better practice would be to scan and retain at least subscriber contracts [all pages], repair records, investigative reports if you know of an incident, alarm activity reports unless retained by your central station [ask it about its policy on retention].  Employee records can also be scanned but if you don't have the info electronically 6 years is enough time.  Same for bank records and internal invoices and ledgers if you have them.  
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comment on employee accidents while working from May 24, 2017 article
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Ken,
    In response to insurance carriers providing coverage for the employees personal vehicle, yes all of the alarm carrier that we write with (Philadelphia, Hartford, Scottsdale, etc.) have the ability to add coverage for Hired/Non-Owned Auto coverage onto their Package/Liability policies.  Every company has this exposure regardless of size and operations whether it be techs or sales individuals driving throughout the day, the coverage is usually only a couple hundred dollars annually.  
    If a company has owned autos then they would add the Hired/Non-Owned coverage for employees driving personal vehicles into the commercial auto policy they have with those vehicles.
    As far as a risk management standpoint, we have made a point when we help develop and review fleet safety programs for employers that the distracted driving topic is a must.  Companies should have in place a distracted driving policy so the employees know what is not permitted while driving company vehicles.  Consistent reminders of what is expected of employees while driving company vehicles is a must as well.
    Thanks!
PS. we don't work with First Mercury, clearly for the better after reading about them. 
Jeff Schulz, CIC
J.Krug & Associates, Inc.
Relax. You're Covered.
Insurance, Risk Management, Financial Services                           
Mount Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 818-7508
www.jkrug.com
jschulz@jkrug.com
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
ken@kirschenbaumesq.com
516 747 6700
www.KirschenbaumEsq.com
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