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