Foley & Lardner LLP Senior Counsel Kevin Jackson is quoted in the HR Dive article, “UKG lost, destroyed employee data, P.F. Chang’s alleges in lawsuit,” describing how this dispute may serve as a cautionary tale for employers.
Jackson explained that vendors like UKG maintain the data necessary for payroll and timekeeping functions within their own databases. If employers do not house this data on their own services, then access to it is based on maintaining contractual relationships with the vendor.
If the employer is targeted in a wage and hour class action lawsuit, Jackson said these limitations can be especially problematic. During discovery, employers may be asked to produce years of payroll and timekeeping records. If they no longer have access to the data held by a former vendor, who may have already deleted it in accordance with their data deletion policies, then, “As an employer, you’re out of luck at that point.”
Jackson said the main takeaway for employers is that when contracting with a vendor, to ensure that they will maintain the employer’s records for “at least the period of time that the law requires.”
“It’s much easier to work with a company that you’re currently contracted with,” he added.