Skip to content Skip to footer

Table of contents

Personnel files — Pennsylvania

What to keep in an employee personnel file

Both Pennsylvania and federal laws require employers to keep personnel records that it already keeps or generates for a certain period of time (see Recordkeeping requirements). The contents of personnel files are likely to vary widely by industry or business. However, personnel file recordkeeping and rule enforcement should be uniform. For example, if a manager begins documenting a single employee’s tardiness, but ignores other employees’ tardiness, the single employee could claim disparate treatment. Therefore, it is essential that employers ensure uniform and consistent recordkeeping and maintain existing records for the time periods required by law.

Basic information within the personnel file may include:

  • employment application (and resume, reference letters and documentation of oral reference checks, if applicable)
  • job description
  • performance evaluations
  • attendance records
  • disciplinary records
  • benefits election forms
  • employee handbook receipts
  • necessary tax forms, such as IRS W-4s
  • payroll information