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Reviewing HR Compliance for Record Retention Guidelines

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As 2020 draws to a close, companies must review their record retention guidelines to maintain HR compliance.

Below we’ll give you a quick overview of what to retain and what you can safely dispose of after a certain length of time. Remember that it’s always best to double-check, as these rules can change often depending on legislation, legalities and state or local ordinances. 

  • 1 Year
    • After one year, you can safely dispose of all ADA applications, personnel records and requests that relate to ADA issues
    • Physical exam results, employment tests, validations and results
  • 2 Years
    • Job applications, resumes, job postings, promotions, overtime
    • Employee personnel files, such as disciplinary notices, demotions, promotions, discharges, physicals, training, tests, layoffs and recalls, physicals, job evaluations, seniority systems and merit systems
  • 3 Years
    • I-9s (or one year after termination)
    • All FMLA documentation (three years after hire or one year after termination)
    • Business records (including total sales volume), total goods purchased, polygraph tests, union contracts and individual employee contracts (if permitted in your state).
  • 5 Years
    • Drug testing documentations
    • OSHA forms 101, 200, 300A and 301
    • Compensation insurance or occupational disease or injury
    • First-aid records of any  job injuries that resulted in the loss of work time
  • 6 Years
    • Standard ERISA documentation, such as benefits, plans, disclosures, annual reports, etc.
  • 7 Years
    • Employee wage records, such as time cards, wage rate tables, hours and days of employees, shift schedules
    • Records explaining any wage differentials
    • Payroll records and all deductions
  • 30 Years
    • Exposure records and medical exams as related to OSHA requirements

While this is a basic, introductory list, it’s best to review SHRM’s detailed list or contact your legal department if you have any questions. 
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