Skip to Page Content

Recordkeeping Policy

    Recordkeeping Policy: Record Maintenance, Retention and Destruction

    Purpose

    The human resources (HR) department retains and destroys personnel records in accordance with [Company Name's] corporate policies on business records retention, as well as federal and state laws governing record retention. Below is an outline of the HR department's operating procedures for personnel record retention and destruction of documents when such retention periods have passed. If [Company Name's] retention procedure is not of sufficient duration for any state in which the company does business, this procedure will be superseded by state requirements.

    The HR department maintains both employee record information and government compliance reports. Both are subject to the following retention requirements and destruction procedures.

    Maintenance of Employee Records

    The following employee information records are maintained in segregated personnel files:

    1) Pre-employment testing results and background check information.
    2) I-9 forms.
    3) Benefits plan and employee medical records.
    4) Health and safety records.
    5) General employee personnel records.

    Government compliance reports are maintained in reverse chronological sequence and filed separately from the above employee information records.

    Destruction of Employee and Applicant Records

    All paper personnel records and confidential employee data maintained by the HR department will be destroyed by shredding after retention dates have passed; this procedure pertains to all personnel records, not just those governed by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA).

    Employment application materials submitted by applicants who were never employed are also to be shredded. 

    When a confidential record must be discarded or destroyed, it shall be marked as confidential and given to the Administrative Services Department to be destroyed in accordance with the record destruction policies. Alternatively, hardcopy confidential records may be shredded using a locked shredder on the [Company Name] premises. In the case of remote employees, employees are discouraged from printing out or creating hard copies of confidential records where possible. If hard copies must be printed, created or kept, they should be stored in a locked cabinet, drawer or other secure location until they are no longer needed, or until the maximum retention period has ended. Remote employees must then destroy all confidential files by shredding them in a locked shredder on the [Company Name] premises, or otherwise rendering the documents unusable or unreadable.

    Personnel records include electronic as well as paper records. The HR department will work with the IT department periodically but no less than twice annually to review and ensure that the HR department's electronic records relating to employee information and compliance reports are properly purged.

    Litigation Hold

    When [Company Name] is involved in or anticipates that it may be involved in litigation, the General Counsel's office will issue a litigation hold. This means that all documents relating to the litigation matter must be kept in order to preserve any potential evidence. If we fail to do so, [Company Name] can be sanctioned by the court for destroying evidence. A court has broad authority to impose these sanctions, which may include anything from unfavorable procedural rulings during a trial to payment of monetary damages.

    In the event that the [Company Name] General Counsel announces a litigation hold on any or all [Company Name] records as a result of pending or anticipated litigation, all records covered by such litigation hold MUST NOT be discarded, deleted or destroyed. Further, the IT department will suspend the automatic deletion of emails for all individuals covered by the litigation hold. Any questions about the litigation should be directed to the General Counsel.

    Retention of Terminated Employees' Records

    Record Types and Retention Periods

    Health & Benefits Records

     

    Health & Benefits Beneficiary Forms

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Medical, Dental/Vision Plan Elections

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Drug Test Results

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Education Assistance Program Records

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    FMLA Leave Reports

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    USERRA Leave Records

    Permanent

    Toxic & Bloodborne Pathogens Records

    Termination + 30 yrs.

    Job Related Injuries & Illnesses Records

    Termination + 5 yrs.

    Reasonable Accommodation Records

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Pre-Employment/Employment Documents*

     

    Job Description

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Position Requisition

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Recruitment Notice/Job Ads

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Employment Application/Resume

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Interview Evaluation

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Assessment Results

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Background Check Information

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    References/Verifications

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    New-Hire Action Form

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Offer Letter

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Form I-9

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    EEO Data Form

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Employee Policy Acknowledgements

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Conflict of Interest Statement

    Termination  + 3 yrs.

    Intellectual Property Ownership/Nondisclosure

    Termination + 5 yrs.

    Employee Change Action Documents

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Disciplinary Records

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Employee Development Records

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Position/Pay History Records

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Employee Performance Reviews

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    International Assignment Documents

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Relocation Agreement

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Resignation Letter

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Termination Action Form

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    COBRA Election Notice

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Separation Agreement

    Termination + 5 yrs.

    Exit Interview Form

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Unemployment Claim Records

    Termination + 4 yrs.

    Note: If an applicant is ultimately not hired, the above records should be retained for three (3) years after the no-hire decision is made.

    Retirement

     

    401(k) Allocation Records

    Termination + 4 yrs.

    401(k) Loan Payment Forms

    Termination + 3 yrs.

    Pension Eligibility Records

    Termination + 50 yrs.

    Request for Calculation

    Termination + 4 yrs.

    Retirement Beneficiary Form

    Termination + 50 yrs.

    Payroll/Tax

     

    Paychecks/stubs, W-2s, W-4s

    4 yrs.

    Earnings Register

    4 yrs.

    Employee Withholding

    4 yrs.

    Expense Reports

    3 yrs.

    Federal & State Payroll Tax Forms

    4 yrs.

    Federal Forms 1099

    4 yrs.

    Time Sheets/Cards

    4 yrs.

    Other Payroll Records

     

         Computer Loan Agreement

    Termination + 5 yrs.

         Direct Deposit Records

    Termination + 4 yrs.

         Garnishment Records

    Termination + 4 yrs.

         Final Payroll Deduction Checklist

    Termination + 4 yrs.

    HR Policies & Reports

     

    EEO-1 Reports

    Permanent

    HR Policies

    While current + 3 yrs.

    State New-Hire Reports

    3 yrs.

    Affirmative Action Plans/Records

    5 yrs.

    Form 5500

    6 yrs.

    OSHA 300/300A

    Posting date + 5 yrs.

    VETS-4212 Reports

    5 yrs.

    [Company Name] Ethics Hotline Reports*

    3 yrs.

    * Note:  If a [Company Name] ethics hotline report is related to an employee disciplinary matter or other type of record listed herein, then staff should follow the retention period for that particular type of record.