Properly maintaining our business records is vital to our compliance with laws and regulations. However, knowing what documents and information to keep— and for how long—can be confusing. In fact, in the event of a lawsuit or investigation, we are required to suspend usual document retention rules and preserve evidence. The consequences of a wrong decision— whether to retain too long or discard too soon—can be extremely costly. Keeping excess documents adds costs to review and search in discovery and increases litigation risk.
In order to comply with all laws and regulations regarding the preservation of records, we have adopted policies in each country concerning the types of documents we are required to maintain and establishing retention schedules for each type of record (including electronic records) and specifying circumstances, such as lawsuits or investigations, when it is necessary to maintain or segregate certain records. Records should be retained or destroyed only in accordance with the applicable company policy.