Retaining Employee Files

Straight from the mouths of Mr. HR’s readers

We have been retaining terminated employee personnel files for over 20 years.  What is the recommended guideline for retaining terminated employee files?– HR Manager, IT Company

The conventional wisdom out there says you keep files for anywhere from 3-7 years. You can be subject to Department of Labor actions that could go back 3 years, hence the 3 year recommendation. That being said if you find yourself in a situation whereby the IRS is involved you could be looking at an action going back as long as 7 years. Air on the side of caution – use 7 years as your guideline.

David Lewis
Operations Inc – Stamford, CT

Human Resources Outsourcing and Consulting

AKA — Mister HR