Various federal and state statutes require employers to keep employee applications and other employment information for a specified period of time.
The employee responsible for the administration of personnel files and applications should ensure that the required information is retained in conformity with the following guidelines.
Payroll records for each employee including full name, identification number, home address, date of birth if under the age of 19, sex, occupation, day and time workweek begins, hours worked each day and week, total daily or weekly earnings, overtime compensation, basis of overtime computation, total additions to or deductions from wages, total wages for each pay period, date of payment, and the pay period covered by the payment.
All employers covered by the FLSA (at least one employee)
Individual employment contracts, collective bargaining agreements, plans, trusts, certificates, and required notices.
Sales and purchase records, by total dollar volume, weekly, month, or quarterly.
Supplementary basic records – including worksheets showing daily starting and stopping time of employees, wage rate schedules, and work time schedules.
Order, shipping, and billing records.
Records of additions to and deductions from each individual employee’s wages; all employee purchase orders; all records used in determining amount and computation of addition or reduction.
Any certificates of age (if applicable). Employer may be required to keep different or additional wage and hour records on employees in certain specialized occupations and on employees who may be otherwise exempt from the FLSA.
Any personnel or employment records, including application forms that an employer makes or keeps and records related to hiring, promotions, demotions, transfers, layoffs, terminations, rates of pay, selections to training programs, etc.
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 action brought by the EEOC.
Employers covered by Title VII
EEO-1 report filed with the EEOC.
Payroll records containing each employee’s name, address, date of birth, occupation, rate of pay, and compensation earned each week.
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 and that are related to:
Employee benefit plans, and seniority and merit systems.
Any records that an employer makes that relate to the payment of wages, evaluations, job wage rates, job descriptions, merit systems, seniority, agreements, or other collective bargaining matters that explain the basis for payment of a wage differential to employees of the opposite sex.
Employers covered by the FLSA
Basic payroll and identifying employee data, rate or basis of pay and terms of compensation, daily and weekly hours worked per pay period, additions to or deductions from wages, and total compensation paid.
Dates FMLA leave is taken by eligible employees (that information may come from time records or employees’ requests for leave; leave must be designated in records as FMLA leave and may not include leave required under state law or an employer plan that isn’t also covered by the FMLA).
The hours of leave if it’s taken by eligible employees in increments of less than one full day.
Copies of written employee notices of leave furnished under the FMLA and copies of all general and specific written notices given employees as required under the FMLA and its regulations;
Any documents describing employee benefits or personnel policies and practices covering paid and unpaid leaves.
Premium payments of employee benefits.
Records of any dispute between the employer and an eligible employee over the designation of leave as FMLA leave, including any written statement from either of the employer covering the reasons for the designation and for the disagreement.
A log and summary of all recordable occupational injuries and illnesses for each establishment (OSHA Form 200) and a supplementary record (OSHA Form 101).
Private sector employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health 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 Occupational Safety and Health Act
Employee medical records (including medical histories; examinations and test results; medical opinions and diagnoses; description of treatment and prescriptions; and employee complaints).
Type of records
Employers employing persons to perform labor or services in return for wages or other pay.
Policies and Forms
Appendix A: Recordkeeping requirements
About the Firm
About the Editor
Features of the HR Library
Snapshot – An HR audit
Compliance thresholds — Massachusetts
Recruiting and hiring — Massachusetts
Background checks — Massachusetts
Immigration — Massachusetts
Temporary and leased employees, interns and volunteers — Massachusetts
Independent contractors — Massachusetts
Restrictive covenants and trade secrets — Massachusetts
Policies and procedures manuals — Massachusetts
Wages and hours — Massachusetts
Child labor — Massachusetts
Discrimination — Massachusetts
Disabilities and reasonable accommodation — Massachusetts
Workplace harassment — Massachusetts
Benefits — Massachusetts
Health insurance reform — Massachusetts
Family and medical leave — Massachusetts
Military leave — Massachusetts
Other types of leave — Massachusetts
Performance evaluations — Massachusetts
Personnel Files — Massachusetts
Workplace investigations — Massachusetts
Discipline — Massachusetts
Termination — Massachusetts
Plant closings and mass layoffs — Massachusetts
Health insurance continuation coverage — Massachusetts
Unemployment insurance — Massachusetts
Whistleblower protections — Massachusetts
Privacy rights — Massachusetts
Health insurance portability and privacy — Massachusetts
Protecting electronic information — Massachusetts
The Internet and social media — Massachusetts
Safety and Health — Massachusetts
Workplace violence — Massachusetts
Workers' compensation — Massachusetts
Politics in the workplace — Massachusetts
Celebrating in the workplace — Massachusetts
Federal contractors and affirmative action — Massachusetts
Public employers — Massachusetts
Unions — Massachusetts
Telecommuting — Massachusetts
Drugs alcohol and tobacco — Massachusetts
Diversity in the workplace — Massachusetts
Disaster planning — Massachusetts
Pandemic outbreaks — Massachusetts
Appendix A: Recordkeeping requirements
Appendix B: Posting requirements