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Ask the HR Expert – March 20, 2018

Jill Schaefer /
  • Categories: HR
keyboard and personnel file

Q: I was told by an employment attorney a few years ago that I didn’t need to keep anything in our personnel files past 10 years. Is this true?

A: Record retention varies by type of record between federal, state, and litigious retention requirements. It ranges from 1–30 years.

General best practices for record retention:

  • Hiring and application records: 2 years after related personnel decision
  • Employment verification (I-9) records: 3 years after termination
  • Medical and benefits records: 6 years as long as no toxic exposure occurred
  • Personnel records: 7 years after termination of employment
  • Any other miscellaneous documents and records relating to a charge, complaint, enforcement action, or another compliance review: Until the final disposition of the related action

Bottom Line:
Depending on the document, you may need to keep it longer than 10 years.

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