Human Resources Recordkeeping

State and federal laws have different requirements for employers when it comes to displaying informational posters and retaining company records.  The following summary shows information for both federal and state (Florida) requirements.  The confusing part of these standards, is that they are based on the specific type of document, not the overall system used by employers to maintain records.  For instance, there is no generic standard on how long to maintain a former employee’s personnel file, but rules for each document in the file.  By looking at the rules for each specific document (i.e. employment application, discipline warning, benefit enrollment form etc…) you will know how long the document must be maintained.

Federal and State Recordkeeping Requirements (general – government contractors are different)

  • Advertisements (jobs) – 1 year from date of action
  • ADA Accommodation docs – 1 year from date of action
  • Age Certificates for Minors – until termination of employment
  • Applications, resumes – 1 year from date of action
  • Applicant Testing – 1 year from date of action
  • COBRA documents – follow ERISA rule for 6 years
  • EEO-1 Form – current and past year
  • Employee Beneficiary docs – as long as relevant (current version)
  • Employee Benefit Plans – 1 year after termination of the plan
  • Employee Exposure and Medical Records – 30 years (OSHA tests)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act – 2 years from date of action
  • FICA, FUTA related – 4 years after tax due date, or tax paid (later of)
  • FMLA related documents – 3 years
  • HIPAA – 6 years
  • I9 Forms – 3 years, or 1 year after termination (whichever is later)
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS) – Chemical lists kept current and for 30 years
  • OSHA 300, 301, 300A – 5 years, and current year
  • Payroll Records – at least 3 years
  • Personnel Files – minimum 1 year after termination (but recommend at least 7 years)
  • Polygraph Protection testing – 3 years from testing
  • Time cards (FLSA) – at least 3 years
  • W2 forms (and undeliverables) – 4 years
  • Workplace Accident investigations and records – 3 years
  • Discrimination claims – 1 year from termination
  • Drug Free Workplace testing records – 1 year from test
  • DWC-1 forms – at least 30 months
  • Unemployment claims and records – at least 5 years
  • Workers’ Comp claims – length of employment, plus 2 years (or until case resolved)
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