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New Electronic Transactions Act Permits Companies To Retain Records In Electronic Format

August 2002

The Connecticut Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (CUETA), which takes effect October 1, 2002, authorizes employers to maintain their paper records in electronic format, so long as the electronic record is accurate and remains accessible.  CUETA is designed to place electronic records and signatures on an equal footing with their hard copy counterparts.  It provides that computer records may not be denied legal effect because they are in electronic form.  CUETA follows in the wake of the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN), which contained similar provisions validating the legal effect of electronic records, contracts and signatures.

The records retention provisions of CUETA and E-SIGN are of particular interest to employers because they permit companies to copy and retain their records in electronic format rather than in hard copy archives.  Section 12 of CUETA allows an employer to satisfy a legal requirement to retain a document by keeping an electronic record of the document that is accurate and remains accessible for later reference.  Another provision states that a law that requires retention of a check is satisfied by retaining an electronic image of the front and back of the check.  CUETA also provides that any law that requires a record to be retained in its “original” form for “evidentiary, audit or like purposes” is satisfied by keeping an accurate and accessible electronic version of the record.  CUETA means less paperwork and less expense for companies, which may now keep their records in electronic format rather than in bulky paper archives.  While employers may still want to keep documents relating to current employees (such as personnel files) in hard copy, they may now choose to archive them in electronic format to save storage space and expense.  For more information, contact Vaughan Finn at 860-251-5505 (vfinn@goodwin.com).

If you have any specific questions or would like to discuss this development, please contact me or any member of the Employment Litigation Practice at Shipman & Goodwin LLP.

The content of this article does not constitute legal advice, since legal advice is dependent upon the facts and circumstances of particular cases. If you have a question about how this article may apply to you or your organization, please contact one of the attorneys in our Employment Litigation Practice.

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