Various federal and state statutes require employers to keep employee applications and other employment information for a specified period of time.
The person charged with the administration of personnel files and applications is responsible for insuring that the required information is retained in conformity with the following guidelines:
Type of records
Payroll records for each employee, including:
All employers covered by the FLSA (one employee).
FMLA covers employers with 50 or more employees during 20 or more calendar work weeks in either the current or preceding calendar year.
Three years from last effective date.
All employers covered by the FLSA.
Sales and purchase records, by total dollar volume, weekly, month, or quarterly.
Supplementary basic records, including:
Order, shipping, and billing records.
Until termination of employment.
All employers covered by the FLSA or child labor laws (at least one employee).
Any personnel or employment records, including:
Whichever is later:
Employers covered by Title VII (15 or more employees in each of 20 consecutive calendar weeks of the current or preceding year).
All personnel records relevant to a charge filed with or actions brought by the EEOC.
Until final disposition of the charge or action.
Employers covered by Title VII.
EEO-1 report filed with the EEOC.
Employers covered by Title VII with 100 or more employees.
Payroll records containing each employee's:
Employers covered by the ADEA (20 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year).
Any personnel records that an employer makes that are related to:
One year; or 90 days for applicants for temporary jobs.
Employers covered by ADEA.
Employee benefit plans, and seniority and merit systems.
One year after termination of plan.
Employers covered by the ADEA.
Any records that an employer makes that relates to:
Employers covered by the FLSA.
All records required to be kept by the FLSA.
Employers employing 50 or more employees each working day during 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year.
Private sector employers covered by the OSH Act with 11 or more full- or part-time employees.
Employee exposure records on toxic substances and harmful physical agents including environmental and biological monitoring information and material safety data sheets.
All employers covered by the OSH Act.
Employee medical records including medical histories, examinations, test results, medical opinions and diagnoses, description of treatment and prescriptions, and employee complaints.
Duration of employment plus 30 years.
Employers employing persons to perform labor or services in return for wages or other pay.
Accurate records of employees:
Employers covered by the Illinois Minimum Wage Law.
Covered employers must maintain the following records:
Employers covered by VESSA.
Employers covered by the Illinois Equal Pay Act.
Employers must preserve and maintain the following records, to the extent they exist:
Each employee's personnel file, including:
See “Type of records” for the designated period for each document type.
Employers covered by the Illinois Human Rights Act.
Policies and Forms
Appendix A: Recordkeeping requirements
About the author
Features of the HR Library
Snapshot - An HR audit — Illinois
Compliance thresholds — Illinois
Recruiting and hiring — Illinois
Background checks — Illinois
Immigration — Illinois
Temporary and leased employees — Illinois
Independent contractors — Illinois
Restrictive covenants and trade secrets — Illinois
Policies and procedures manuals — Illinois
Wages and hours — Illinois
Child labor — Illinois
Discrimination — Illinois
Disabilities and reasonable accommodations — Illinois
Workplace harassment — Illinois
Benefits — Illinois
Health insurance — Illinois
Family and medical leave — Illinois
Military leave — Illinois
Other types of leave — Illinois
Performance evaluations — Illinois
Personnel files — Illinois
Workplace investigations — Illinois
Discipline — Illinois
Termination — Illinois
Plant closings, mass layoffs and reductions in force — Illinois
Health insurance continuation coverage — Illinois
Unemployment compensation — Illinois
Whistleblower protections — Illinois
Privacy rights — Illinois
Health insurance portability and privacy — Illinois
Protecting electronic information — Illinois
Social media — Illinois
Safety and health — Illinois
Workplace violence — Illinois
Workers’ compensation — Illinois
Politics in the workplace — Illinois
Celebrations in the workplace — Illinois
Federal contractors and affirmative action — Illinois
Public employers — Illinois
Unions — Illinois
Telecommuting — Illinois
Drugs and alcohol — Illinois
Diversity in the workplace — Illinois
Disaster planning — Illinois
Pandemic outbreaks — Illinois
Appendix A: Recordkeeping requirements
Appendix B: Posting requirements