Organizations are required to retain certain documentation for a specified period of time before destroying them. Check out these federal employment record-keeping requirements to ensure your organization is in compliance. (review your state specific requirements also):

Pre-employment Records:

  • Resumes, applications and related employment materials, including interview records and notes, for applicants not hired will be retained for 3 years.
  • Resumes, applications and related employment materials, including interview records and notes, for employees will be retained for 4 years after the date of separation.
  • Background checks, drug test results, driving records, company employment verifications, letters of reference and related documents will be retained for 5 years.

Employee Records

  • I-9 Forms will be retained the later of 3 years from date of hire or 1 year following separation of employment.
  • Leaves of absence, including FMLA and USERRA, and related records and accommodation requests will be retained for 4 years after separation.
  • Compensation and job history records, including correspondence, policy acknowledgements, and contracts, will be retained for 4 years after separation.
  • Performance appraisal and disciplinary action records will be retained for 4 years after separation.
  • Benefit records, including COBRA records, will be retained for 6 years after the effective date of the documents, based on the information they contain.
  • Records relating to disputed issues (involving external agencies or parties, wage-hour investigations by DOL, EEOC charges, arbitrations, court actions, etc.) will be retained for 2 years after resolution of dispute.
  • OSHA and employee safety records will be retained for 5 years after separation.
  • Payroll, unemployment and timekeeping records will be retained for 7 years after separation.
  • Workers’ compensation claims and medical records will be retained for 30 years after date of injury/illness.

Compliance Reports and Records:

  • OSHA 300/300A will be retained for 6 years after posting.
  • Workplace safety notices to employees will be retained for 4 years.
  • Benefits notices and documentation will be retained for 6 years.
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