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Record Keeping Requirements

The number in the grid below represents the maximum number of years any federal law requires keeping the type of records described in the left-hand column.

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Type of employee recordYears to keep records
 
Hiring & Personnel Action Information
Job applications, resumes, other replies to advertisements   Normally, 1 year from the date of record. However, to include some exceptions, 2 years from last action recommended
Records relating to refusal or failure to hire, including test papers, medical tests, and/or other screening tools   Same as above
Job orders submitted employment agency or labor unions   Same as above
Advertisements or notices to the public or employees about openings, promotions, and/or training opportunities   Same as above
Records showing impact of employment actions on protected   Same groups, including selections, promotions, demotions, layoffs and recalls, termination, transfers, and opportunities for training or overtime work   Same as above
Compensation Program Information
Documents concerning merit or seniority systems   Two years
Explanations of any wage differences for employees of the   Same opposite sex   Same as above
Job evaluations and job descriptions   Same as above
Wage rate tables   Same as above
Collective bargaining agreements and individuals contracts   Same as above
Benefits Programs Information
All records supporting disclosures required in reports to the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation   Six years from the date report filed
Plan description   One year from termination of plan
Basic Employee Data
Name, addresses, SSN, gender and date of birth   Four years following last action
Occupation, job classification Same as above  
Work authorization, and work permits for minors   Same as above
Work authorization, and work permits for minors   One year from termination
I-9   One year from termination, or 3 years; whichever is longer
Compensation
Daily work schedule   Three years from last action
Pay rate   Three years from last action
Weekly compensation     Three Years
Amounts and dates of actual payment; period of service covered   Four years
Daily & weekly hours     Four years
Straight time & overtime hours & pay   Four years
Annuity & pension payments   Four years
Accident & health plan payments   Four years
Fringe benefits paid     Four years
Tips   For years
Deductions and additions   Four years
Tax Records
Amounts of wages subjected to withholdings   Four years
Agreements with employee to withhold additional taxes   Four years
Actual taxes withheld and dates withheld   Four years
Reasons for any difference between total tax payments and actual tax payments   Four years
Withholding form (W-4)   Four years
Employment Actions
Dates hired, separated, rehired, resumed, reason for separation   One year from date of action
Promotions, demotions, transfers, layoffs, recalls, and training opportunities   One year from date of action
Aptitude, ability, medical or other tests used in in employment actions   One year from date of action
Polygraph test results & records, including reasons for administering   Three years from the date of action
Health, Medical and Safety Data
Job related injuries and illnesses     5 calendar years after record is made
Requests for accommodation of disability   1 year from last action

Category:Legal Considerations

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