Document retention periods are linked to major federal employment statutes.

by on July 8, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Document retention policy goes hand in hand with federal legal compliance

The first document retention law we discuss is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. That of course is the kind of the lone star of the employment discrimination statutes that have come about in the last century.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is really pretty much a carbon copy of the Title VII when it comes to document retention. The personnel records under Title VII must be maintained for one year from the date of the record, action or termination. One year is the typical time span an employee will use to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, under Title VII, they’ve got one year from the date of the discrimination to do that.

So, for example a person who is not hired with you and they give you their resume, and you decide not to hire them, any documents relating to the decision not to hire need to be kept for at least one year in the event that that person goes out, files a complaint with the EEOC saying that the failure to hire them was discriminatory.

A good document retention policy requires anything related to a charge of discrimination, like an EEOC charge or if you get involved in litigation, any documents related to that lawsuit need to be kept until the final disposition of the matter.

FLSA and document retention
The Fair Labor Standards Act that’s one of the key pieces of New Deal legislation that sets minimum wage and overtime requirements. Typically, the statute of limitations for an FLSA claim is two years to three years for lawful violation. We advise that FLSA and payroll information be kept for three years. These are things like vital statistics related to the employee, you know, name, date of birth, things like that. Information related to the work week that you have set and the rates of pay that are paid to an employee at any given time, hours worked if you have time cards or other clock-in/clock-out information needs to be kept for at least three years and any information reflecting the straight time earnings and overtimes with additions and reductions — those are basically going to be the information that’s found on your payroll stuffs. So, the document retention time for FLSA records is three years

Included in your document retention plan for your FLSA records should have basic employment and earnings records, wage rate tables, order, shipping and billing records. You might find that a little bit odd for purposes of the FLSA, but order, shipping and billing records might be relevant to a person who is paid on commission or paid according to a production rate, things like that. So that’s the reason that things like that are included under the FLSA.

Edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute webinar: “Personnel Document Retention: What to Keep, How to Keep it & Why it Matters” by Matthew Gilley Esq.

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