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Rice Law Office Blog

This blog reviews important legal issues including: personal injury, employee compensation, workers compensation, discrimination and wrongful termination.

Employers Have Duty To Preserve Evidence In Employment Lawsuit

Employers Have Duty To Preserve Evidence In Employment Lawsuit

In situations where an employer can reasonably anticipate a lawsuit there is a legal obligation to preserve evidence that may be relevant to the case. Failing to do so can have serious consequences. These consequences can range from jurors being instructed to assume missing evidence was unfavorable to the employer, all the way to dismissal of the employer’s entire defense. 

Under what circumstances is an employer expected to preserve evidence? Companies should err on the side of caution, and the following situations are strong signs that a lawsuit might be coming:

A workplace injuryA disputed suspension, termination, or demotionNotice from an attorney outlining a claimA complaint from a state or federal agency

What evidence does the employer have an obligation to preserve? Employers might be required to maintain and or make available such as: 

PicturesVideoEquipmentPhysical DocumentsElectronically Stored Information (ESI)

Likewise, there is growing attention on an employee’s obligation to maintain evidence in his or her own possession that might be relevant to their lawsuit. This is particularly true when it comes to electronic evidence and or statements that might have been made via social networking.

Both employers and employees need to consult early on with their council regarding the important issue of evidence preservation.

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I Just Got Hurt at Work: What Do I Need to Know?

I Just Got Hurt at Work: What Do I Need to Know?

From New Hampshire Department of Labor Frequently Asked Questions

Can I see my own doctor? 

This depends on whether or not your carrier is using a managed care program. If they are, you must choose a doctor within the network. If you are not subject to managed care, the choice is yours.

Can my employer fire me?

It depends on your case and circumstances. New Hampshire has various laws which may provide job protection for employees based upon injury, illness or disability. If your employer has 5 or more employees they may be required to reinstate you if you are released by your treating physician within 18 months of the date of injury. See RSA 281-A:25-a or New Hampshire Administrative Rule Chapter Lab 504.05 Reinstatement of Employee Sustaining Compensable Injuries.

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