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Records: What you need to know

The information provided here highlights some of the more important recordkeeping requirements that apply to most employers, regardless of industry. Employers should keep in mind that the time period for retaining records set forth in the various statutes are minimums. Since these records are critical to the employer if its compliance with federal or state law is questioned or if it must defend itself against employment-related litigation, employers may want to retain employment-related records for much longer periods of time. Complete and accurate records are often an employer's best defense to employment-related litigation and wage and hour complaints. In addition, some states have specific laws related to the maintenance of personnel files and other documents that may require longer retention periods.
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Covered Employers: Employers with 20 or more employees.
Required: Payroll or other records for all full-time, part-time, and temporary employees that include each employee's name, address, date of birth, occupation, rates of pay, and weekly compensation.
To be retained: Three years.
Required: In addition, employers must retain records related to job applications, resumes, and other forms of job inquiries; promotions, demotions, and transfers; selection for overtime, training, layoff, recall, or discharge; job orders submitted to employment agencies; candidate test papers for any position; physical exam results if used in employment decisions; job ads or internal notices relating to job openings; and employee benefit plans.
To be retained: One year from the date of action or after termination of the benefit plan.
After action started: If a charge of age ...

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State Requirements

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming |

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Record retention is complex and time consuming. However, in addition to complying with various federal and state laws, keeping good, well-organized records can be very helpful in documenting and supporting an organization’s employment actions.
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This special report will discuss how you can ensure your records are in good order, and establish a record-retention policy.

Topics covered:
1. Hiring Records
2. Employment Relationships
3. Termination Records
4. Litigation Issues
5. Electronic Information Issues
6. Tips for Better Recordkeeping
7. A List of Legal Requirements

Make sure you have the information you need to know to keep your records in order.