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Personnel Files

Medical records for past employees: Should we retain them? If so, how long?

Q. Is there any reason to keep old medical files on past employees? Usually the info in the medical files is whether they’ve had a TB test, typical paperwork on physicals, or return-to-work information after pregnancies or injuries.

Remember: Contract workers are eligible to sue you, too

Here’s a reminder that you need to document disciplinary and workplace problems for temporary contract employees, too. It doesn’t matter that they know they only have a job for a set period of time.

Multistate employer: Can we centralize our I-9s?


Q. We are headquartered in Oklahoma and have offices in another state that do their own hiring. Must I maintain a copy of I-9s at our headquarters from that other office? 

Employee documents: What to keep, what to toss

Is the paper piling up in your office and in need of a big spring cleaning? Before managers start tossing documents in the circular file, they need to know which employee-related paperwork must be saved—and for how long.

In court? Turn over all relevant documents

Here’s a warning for HR professionals who are reviewing personnel files for use in a lawsuit: Don’t even think about playing games with the judge by failing to hand over everything. For example, if you provide only negative information, chances are a judge won’t be pleased.

New case shows legal risks of ‘papering’ fired employee’s file

When preparing to terminate a worker, you want to be able to produce the most solid documentation to defend a potential lawsuit. Just make sure supervisors know to document employee performance and behavior at the time it occurs—not just before or after the employee leaves the building.

Effective HR document and file management for supervisors

In your quest for a clean slate, be careful not to dispose of documents you shouldn’t.

Big spike in I-9 audits: Are your records in order?

The “bold new audit initiative” launched by ICE has yielded a dramatic increase in employer audits, fines and arrests. Employers would be wise to make sure their I-9 forms are in compliance before the ­proverbial knock on the door.

What are California’s rules on employee access to personnel records?

Q. An employee has asked to see his records. How soon do we have to respond?

What rights do Pennsylvania employees have to inspect their personnel files?

Q. What’s the law on letting employees review all their personnel files? Can we prevent it?