HR Record Retention Requirements

United States - Summary Chart

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United States

Document

Retention Period

Beginning of Retention Period

Legal Reference

EMPLOYMENT RECORDS

Contracts (new hire agreements, severance, etc.)

General: Minimum 3 years; ERISA Related Records: Minimum 6 years

From date of termination

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Time records (work hours, rest periods, vacation/sick/holiday, etc.)

Minimum 3 years; Minimum 6 years - records that relate to ERISA

From date of record

29 C.F.R. § 516.5; The Equal Pay Act (EPA) (minimum 2 years); Section 107 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Performance records (performance reviews, promotions/demotions, licenses/certifications, investigations, disciplinary actions, etc.)

Minimum 3 years

From date of termination

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA); Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

Data and personnel files

Minimum 3 years (employment history related records minimum 2 years from term. or personnel action)

From date of termination

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA); Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

Government verification records (work papers, immigration, eligibility to work, etc.)

Minimum 3 years from date of hire and 1 year from termination

See retention period

Labor Condition Application (LCA)

Collective bargaining/union

Minimum 3 years

From end of agreement

29 C.F.R. § 516.5

Background checks and drug tests

Minimum 1 year (Fair Credit Reporting Act, subject to extension under additional applicable laws); Minimum 5 years (Dept. of Transportation)

From the date of tests

Fair Credit Reporting Act; US Department of Transportation

Acknowledgements, policy agreements and required notices

Minimum 3 years

From date of termination

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Recruitment (interview notes, resumes/CVs, reference checks, etc.)

Minimum 1 year (including employment tests and physical exam records)

From the date of record

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

Tracking/recordings (biometric, geo-location, online tracking, camera recordings, etc.)

Varies based on state law

N/A

N/A

Miscellaneous 1

Employer Information Report EEO-1: Minimum 1 year (most recent filing)

From filing

29 C.F.R. § 1602.7

Miscellaneous 2

Labor Condition Application (LCA) Public Access File (PAF): Minimum 1 year

From the last date anyone is employed under the LCA

Labor Condition Application

Miscellaneous 3

Permanent Labor Certification Audit File: Minimum 5 years

From date of filing

Program Electronic Review Management (PERM)

BENEFIT/PENSION/EQUITY RECORDS

Benefits (plan documents, enrollment records)

Minimum 6 years

From date filed

Section 107, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Pension and retirement records

Minimum 6 years

From date filed

Section 107, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Equity records

N/A

N/A

N/A

PAYROLL/WAGE/TAX RECORDS

Payroll and wage data (payslips, etc.)

Minimum 3 years; Minimum 6 years - ERISA related records

From date of record

29 C.F.R. § 516.5; The Equal Pay Act (EPA) (minimum 2 years); Section 107, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Tax records

Minimum 4 years (employee tax records)

From date taxes are due or paid

26 C.F.R. §§ 31.6001-1, 31.6001-5

Miscellaneous 1

Domestic Relations Orders (including all related correspondence): Minimum 6 years

From date filed

Section 107, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

MEDICAL/SAFETY/LEAVE RECORDS

Leave (family, medical, etc.)

Minimum 3 years

From end of record

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule; The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA); The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Injury and illness incident reports

Minimum 5 years

From date of termination

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

Medical records

Medical surveillance records: Duration of employment plus 30 years

See retention period

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

Hazardous material and other exposure records

Minimum 30 years

From termination

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

Miscellaneous 1

Requests for medical accommodations: Minimum 1 year from date of record, date of termination, or personnel action, whichever is later

See retention period

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Ultimate Software's HR Compliance Assist team relies on a network of internal and external compliance experts and lawyers to provide clients with best practices and recommendations on topics such as HR document retention, employee data privacy, and HR electronic records. HR Compliance Assist also provides local compliance monitoring and alert services in select countries where Ultimate Software's customers have employees. HR Compliance Assist is a service exclusively available to Ultimate Software customers.

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