Personnel Record Retention Includes Numerous Forms and Documents

by on July 6, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

The Law Helps Determine What to Keep in Personnel Record Retention

The purpose of the personnel record retention is to later on be able to come back and prove the defense that he is trying to make in trying to explain his personnel action. So, that’s your task whenever you’re keeping these personnel records.

Personnel record retention isn’t just a matter of doing it because someone says you have to do it. This is something that you need to do. Personnel record retention is something that will establish your defenses to a piece of employment litigation. This is something that will establish the reasons and provide the back up that you need when you’re explaining the decisions that you make to employees and hopefully, head off investigations, charges or lawsuits.

So while we get into this, what do we mean by personnel records or personnel files? That’s a term that we bat around quite a bit. In order to establish a frame of reference, let’s turn to the statutes and the regulations.

A survey of major employment statutes listed some examples of personnel records that you might keep. This may include things like job applications, resumes or any form of employment inquiry, anything that you got responding to a job posting that you have. These would even include records pertaining to failure to hire.

This also includes records relating to promotion, demotion, transfer, selection for training, layoff, recall or discharge. These also include job orders to an employment agency. If you’re asking a temporary agency to send you someone for a particular job, those need to be included as part of personnel record retention as well.

This can also include aptitude or employment test papers, the results of any physical examination, advertisements relating to job openings, promotions, training programs or opportunities for overtime work.

For example, if you’re hiring someone for a particular job, oftentimes you want to keep the job-opening announcement that you originally posted and that they originally responded to.

Personnel records obviously are going to include things like hours of work, pay rates, total wages and wage deductions. These are the essential documents for being able to prove that you have paid someone correctly, that you have paid the minimum wage or that you have paid them any applicable overtime.

Any records relating to FMLA leave, whether this includes FMLA leave logs, any documents that show how much FMLA leave a particular employee has at any given time or how much they have take in the previous 12 months. Those would count as personnel records as well

And finally, any request for a reasonable accommodation of disability, these are records that are essential to showing that you have complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Or, if you’re a federal contractor, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. So, all of these types of documents – and this is by no means is this an exhaustive list of what you should include in personnel record retention.

Edited Remarks from “Personnel Document Retention: What to Keep, How to Keep It & Why It Matters” by Matt Gilley

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