Employers keep various employee records as a way of documenting an employee’s relationship with the company. Employers are required to keep certain records to comply with specific state and federal laws.
In this blog post we will cover which records need to be kept in an employees’ personnel file and for how long, which record need to be kept confidential, and how to keep secure and discard records.
Which records should be kept in an employee’s personnel file?
Employers should keep all job-related documentation such as hiring records, performance reviews, disciplinary actions, and job descriptions in an employee’s general personnel file. Basic information documents like the employee’s name, address, date of birth, and emergency contact should also be kept.
Employment-related agreements such as employment, non-compete, and nondisclosure agreements can also be kept in an employee personnel file. Compensation documents like salary letters and W-4s in addition to termination documents can also be included.
Which records should be kept in a confidential file?
Medical records should be maintained in a separate file from the personnel file per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employers should create another file exclusively for employee medical info including documents related to medical leave, workplace investigation, background checks, and records relevant to workers’ compensation claims.
I-9 forms should be kept separate from all other employee files.
How should records be secured?
From an employee’s date of birth to sensitive medical records, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all employee information is kept secure.
All paper records should be stored in a secure location. Access should be limited to only the individual within your organization that is responsible for maintaining employee files. Electronic records should be password protected and maintained on a dedicated server. Ensure that the electronic systems being utilized are always up to date to maintain security protocols and remain safe from today’s cyberthreats and vulnerabilities.
How should employee records be discarded?
If an employee is terminated, their personnel records must be retained for one year from the date of termination to comply with the regulations set by the Equal Employment Opportunity of Commission (EEOC). Records containing confidential, personal, or financial information should be shredded or incinerated to protect employee privacy. Electronic files should be destroyed or erased so that employee information cannot be accessed.
It’s important to keep an employee’s job-related documentation and medical information separate and secure to comply with certain regulations that are in place. Safeguarding and disposing of sensitive employee data is critical to ensure it does not end up in the wrong hands.