Spring is a great time to schedule a purging of files that have accumulated in your office that you may no longer need. While a good “spring cleaning” makes the office look neater and more organized, you want to be sure to retain documents for a period of time compliant with the law.
According to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) sample recordkeeping policy, the retention periods for terminated employees’ and applicants’ records and compliance reports are as follows:
- Résumés, applications and related employment materials, including interview records and notes, for applicants not hired: 3 years.
- Résumés, applications and related employment materials, including interview records and notes, for employees: 4 years after date of termination.
- Background checks, drug test results, driving records, company employment verifications, letters of reference and related documents: 5 years.
- Terminated employee I-9 Forms: The later of 3 years from date of hire or 1 year following termination of employment.
- Compensation, job history and timekeeping records: 4 years after termination.
- FMLA and USERRA and related leave records: 3 years after termination.
- Performance appraisal and disciplinary action records: 4 years after termination.
- Benefit records: 6 years after the filing date of the documents, based on the information they contain, or 6 years after the date on which such documents would have been filed but for an exemption or simplified reporting requirement.
- Disputed issues (records relating to issues 2 years after resolution of dispute involving external agencies or parties, wage-hour investigation by DOL, EEOC charge, arbitrations, court actions, etc.),
- OSHA and employee safety records: 5 years after termination.
- Workers’ compensation claims: 30 years after date of injury/illness.
Compliance reports and records
- State New Hire reports: 1 year after report was filed.
- EEO-1: 2 years after report was filed.
- Annual Affirmative Action plans: 2 years after close of AAP year.
- OSHA 300/300A: 5 years after posting.
- Form 5500: 6 years after report was filed.
- Federal/state tax reports: 4 years after report was filed.
That is a lot to maintain. Marathon HR can assist you with information retention as well as offer tips in terms of your HR policies around employee records. For example, we suggest that the following information be kept in separate personnel files for each employee:
- Pre-employment information
- I-9 forms
- Benefits plan & employee medical records
- Health & safety records
- General employee personnel records
We also suggest to our clients that all personnel records be destroyed via shredding once the respective retention dates have passed. (Please see the related article in this newsletter on shredding.) You should also shred documents and information submitted by applicants who were never hired.
Marathon is here to help you develop, implement and manage HR policies including those outlining recordkeeping. We can also partner with you as an Administrative Services Provider (ASP) or Professional Employer Organization (PEO) to manage documents for you entirely. Give us a call at 678-208-2802 to learn more.