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Maintaining & Reviewing Employee Files

The primary employee files, I-9 files and EEO information will be stored at the corporate office.

Managers are permitted to maintain “working” employee files at their job site. These include information and notes related to an employee’s overall performance during the year, and can be used to facilitate a corrective action session or complete a performance evaluation. Information that is considered a permanent part of an Employee File, such as a completed Corrective Action Form or Performance Evaluation should be forwarded to the corporate office.

All files should be in a locked and secured file cabinet in a room with a locked door and limited access.

We have company guidelines that establish who has authority to access and inspect primary files. Typically, those with access include: the employee under direct HR supervision, supervisors on a need to know basis, and the authorized HR representative who maintains these records.

It is important to note that all Employee Files are considered confidential, privileged records and should not be disclosed to anyone outside of the company except as required by government regulations or upon advice of counsel in legal proceedings.

Disposal of Records – see below

Employee Records & File Retention Guide - Federal

type of materials/records

retention requirements


Hiring & Employment Records

  • Job applications & Resumes

  • Hiring-related records, including offer letters

  • Job Advertisements & Job descriptions

  • Interview notes, tests and test results

  • Performance evaluations

  • Education and training records

  • Verification of licenses, certifications and degree

  • Verification of previous employment

  • Letters of recognition

  • Employment Policies & Procedures

  • Employee/Personnel Files

At least One (1) year*

EEO information must be kept separate from other hiring records information.

* Federal contractors should keep these records for at least two (2) years.

Basic Employee Information

  • Employee Name

  • Address

  • Social Security Number

  • Date of Birth

  • Job classification (exempt/non-exempt)

  • Job title

  • Completed I-9 forms**

At least 3 years

** Completed I-9 forms must be kept separately from other basic employee information.

**I9’s should be retained for at least 3 years from the date of hire, or 1 year after termination; whichever is longer.

Payroll Records*

  • Daily work schedules

  • Employee pay rates

  • Weekly compensation amounts; and daily if a federal contractor

  • Scheduled dates of payment

  • Daily and weekly hours worked

  • Overtime hours worked

  • Pay, annuity and pension payment amounts

  • Benefit information

  • Deduction amounts

  • Additional pay amounts

At least 3 years

Any documents related to Garnishment of Wages must be separate from main employee file.

This includes retention of documents related to any documents that would be considered relevant to an Age Discrimination Claim.

*Contractors should also retain any list of a predecessor contractor’s employees which has been furnished showing employee’s length of service information.

Tax Records

Four (4) years

Includes personal income tax withholding

ERISA Records

Six (6) Years

At least; from date of filing

Employment Actions

  • Hiring

  • Promotions

  • Transfers

  • Rehiring

  • Performance evaluations

  • Separation from employment

  • Layoffs

  • Exit interviews

*One (1) year from date of action

*Two (2) years for federal contractors

Health, Medical and Safety Data

  • Job related illnesses and injuries

  • Requests for accommodation of disability

  • Medical exams

  • Toxic substance exposure records

  • Blood-borne pathogen exposure records

Varies (see below)

Five (5) years

One (1) year

Thirty (30) years

Thirty (30) years

Thirty (30) years

Keep separate from all other employment related files and materials.

Employee Records & File Retention Guide – State(s)

type of materials/records





State Workers’ Compensation Insurance

  • Employee Name

  • Address

  • Social Security Number

  • Dates of hire/separation/re-hire

  • Payment dates for cash and noncash wages

  • Dates and hours worked

State Income Tax Forms
State Unemployment

Insert State(s)

Insert State(s)

Insert State(s)

# of years

# of years

# of years

Generally, the retention period begins at the end of the month following the quarter to which the record relates. Records must be open for inspection by state unemployment officials at any reasonable time.

90 Day Performance Appraisal

Employee Name: _________________________________________ Title: ______________________________________

Supervisor Name: ________________________________________ Department: ________________________________

Assessment Period: _________________to__________________ Position Hire Date: ____________________________

Overall Summary of Performance / Additional Comments:

Significant Strengths / Accomplishments / Contributions:

Opportunities for Improvement / Expectations for the Next Review Period /

Recommendations for Future Development:

Employee Comments / Feedback:

Evaluator’s Signature: _________________________________________ Date: _________________________________

Employee’s Signature: _________________________________________ Date: _________________________________

© Copyright 2014 Inspiring HR, LLC. All Rights Reserved.  804-715-1920 Page of
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