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HR Spring Cleaning

Ever wonder what should and shouldn’t be kept in employee personnel files? Ninja Gig will give you the low-down on how to spring clean your HR department.

What should be in personnel files?

Personnel files should contain objective information that relates to hiring, promotions, demotions, compensation, discipline or employee discharge. Type of documents that should appear in employment files include, but are not limited to:

  • Employment Application
  • Resume
  • Offer letters
  • Performance reviews
  • Disciplinary notices
  • Resignation/Termination letters
  • Compensation and deductions
  • Non-Compete or Confidentiality Agreements
  • Handbook acknowledgements
  • Attendance records
  • Vacation and personal leave
  • Changes in name, address, telephone or contact information
  • Emergency contacts
  • Beneficiaries for insurance policies
  • Training records

What should not be in personnel files?

Subjective information should never be in personnel files. This includes:

  • Notes about the employee during interviews or on their employment applications
  • Letters of recommendation or reference checks
  • Documents about employee criminal investigations
  • Credit reports
  • I-9 Forms
  • Medical files or anything relating to a medical condition
  • Photos of the employee or even copies of his/her driver’s license

Where should employers keep personnel files?

Personnel files should remain with Human Resources departments, but if companies are too small to have an entire department, they should reside with the employee’s manager. Personnel files should always be stored in a locked room or cabinet.

Who has access to personnel files?

Only the immediate supervisor and human resources’ department should have access to employees’ personnel files. While not required, it’s a good idea for companies to have a system in place that tracks every time a personnel file is viewed by whom.

Where should I-9 Forms be stored?

A separate I-9 folder for each employee is not necessary. Many companies have two binders – one for current employees’ I-9 forms and one for past employees. According to the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), employers must retain I-9 forms for a minimum of three (3) years from the date of hire or one (1) year after the employee’s date of employment ends, whichever is later.

How is medical information stored?

Medical information, such as worker’s compensation issues, disability issues, sick leave or FMLA should be stored separately in a locked drawer and have limited access.

Ninja Gig offers customizable online employment applications. These applications are easy to store digitally online, so companies can recall the information when needed, reducing the amount of paper filing. These online job applications also help companies target experienced candidates.  Sign up now for a no-obligation, free trial of our amazing software.