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51: Employment Records Retention

What files do I have to keep for my employees?

“Government Is Not Reason, It Is Not Eloquence — It Is Force” Employers often overlook the area of records retention compliance, which can result in civil penalties. But what’s more impactful is that you won’t be able to defend yourself against certain employee accusations or government action if you discard these records too early. How hard could it…

About the author, Thomas

I have 20 of years insurance industry experience in C-level management, focusing on all aspects of workers compensation, risk management, loss control, employee benefits, HR, payroll and professional employer organization (“PEO”) operations. Currently, I am the owner and CEO of Humanly HR, and founder and host of SmallBiz Brainiac; a podcast providing employer intelligence to small business owners.


  1. Ernesto on October 14, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Thanks to this article, I understand how to separate the records and how long to keep them, but HOW should the records be filed WITHIN files? What I mean by this is that lets say I have 10 Garnishment Orders for 10 different employees. Should ALL 10 go into 1 (ONE) file? or should each one be separated by their own individual file?

    Same thing for Medical records, if I have 10 people that are injured, should they ALL be in ONE file, or each one within their own file, inside a drawer?

    I apologize if I am making this more complicated than it should be. Thank you soooo much for all your help.

  2. Thomas Rock Lindsay on October 17, 2016 at 9:52 am


    Create one file for each employee. You’ll be better organized and more productive.

    If all garnishment records are in one file and you need to address an issue with one employee you’ll have to look at each document in the file to find all the ones related to that one person. Taking a little extra time to be organized as the paperwork flows in will pay off in the long run.

    Thanks for the question!


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