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Employee Records: The Documents Your Business Needs to Have on File

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

Did you know that as employers, we must keep certain employee-related records? Not only that, but there are Federal and State regulations regarding these records. These regulations dictate the “what, where, when, and how” of employee record keeping:

What information do you to keep?

Where do you need to store the information?

When and how to we destroy the information?

These records serve as the basis for supporting the employment-related decisions we have made and ensuring we are in compliance with the record-keeping laws. In addition, if we ever find ourselves in the middle of an unemployment hearing and/or employee lawsuit, these records will become the basis for supporting the actions we have taken.

Employee record keeping often begins with the “personnel file”. The personnel file should contain information critical for handling various employment-related matters. This includes information such as:

  • Documents used in recruiting, screening and hiring job candidates (e.g., applications, resumes)
  • Job descriptions
  • Written documentation of actions taken during employment (e.g., promotions, transfers)
  • Pay and compensation information

Note: Be sure you are familiar with the Federal and State laws related to the types of pay and compensation data you must retain.

  • Education and training records
  • Receipts for handbooks and other critical policies
  • Documentation of employee performance (e.g., performance review)
  • Employee recognition
  • Progressive discipline documents
  • Termination documents

You can keep the personnel file in hard or soft copy…but you must ensure you safeguard the information and have appropriate security measures in place (e.g., locked files, limited access, password protections, and firewalls).

There are other employee records and information that you must also keep such as the I-9 Form, medical and insurance records, and worker’s compensation information. However, this information must be kept separate from the personnel file.

Establishing thorough employee records is critical to ensuring you have the information you need to protect your business, support your decisions and…penalties. To help make this process easy, create a checklist… you will have this information right at your fingertips.

Want to learn more about workplace requirements? Email us  or give us a call at 571-587-5615. We work with our clients every day to ensure they are in compliance with state and federal regulations.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To read testimonials from other small businesses, and learn more about our services, please visit our website now!

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As Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics, Jennifer Brown is devoted to helping small business owners implement solutions to prevent Human Resources (HR) problems that can drain them of their time, money, and energy. Small business owners work with Jennifer to help them build stronger employee relationships, understand and comply with employment laws, establish policies, and set up easy-to-use HR systems to consistently avoid problems. Jennifer’s clients receive proven, cost-effective, and specific instruction on setting up their HR practices to prevent problems, allowing them to focus on growing their business. Jennifer holds and undergraduate degree in Business Management and an MBA, both with concentrations in HR and Organizational Development from The University of Maryland. Additionally, she maintains the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. Career highlights include various Senior Human Resources roles at Freddie Mac as well as Senior and Staff Consultant positions at Anderson Consulting (Accenture). She is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith Business School, and has developed and taught Human Resources, Employment Law, and Organizational Development courses.

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