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Do E-signatures Hold up in Court?

If you've bought a house in the past few years, you're probably familiar with e-signatures. Instead of having to print everything out and sign paperwork by hand, you can point and click and you're done.

But what about at work? One common theme in many wrongful termination cases is forging employee write-up or warnings after the

fact. It's easy to imagine HR departments catching up on legal requirements with a few clicks here and a few clicks there. If your e-signature shows up on something you didn't sign, will it hold up in court?

Under Federal law, there are three kinds of e-signatures. First, is the cut-and-paste photo of your actual handwriting. This is the least reliable and most easily copied version. Second, is simply typing your signature bookended by slashes: /Jane Doe/. Third, are online services like DocuSign that follow not only the 2001 E-sign Act, but also comply with international law.

The E-sign Act requires that a business keep both hard and electronic copies of records on file, and also allow signatories access to the file. So if you have questions about documents, you can review them at any time. Bottom line, for an electronic signature to hold up in court, the party that received the signature must prove its worthiness by showing that the process by which the signature was gathered and stored is sound and reliable.

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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