Original Date: August 20, 2018

I recently led a webinar on personnel files, “what should and should not be included in personnel files.”  As I designed the training, I carved out a section of the material to record retention periods.  This is an area, that I have audited for organizations and found issues.  How long do we need to keep forms and what are the laws associated to the retention periods?  For most of us in the HR profession and/or small business owners, we generally keep more information than we might need too.  However, it is not recommended to discard or shred any information that there is no retention period on.  Seek guidance if there is a question, prior to discarding documents.  The laws below are federal laws, in many instances, state laws (bonus NY information) have longer retention periods for personnel related documents.  Understand both requirements.

Below are the 15 record retention requirements (more information in links below):

burr chart 1

Additional Information on Records, Retention Period and Laws

Retention of Terminated Employee’s Records Article (Great Information)

Bonus New York State Recordkeeping Requirements:

burr chart 2

burr chart 3

– Matthew Burr, HR Consultant


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