Workplace Practices: Record Retention
|SECTION: HR - Workplace Practices
||NEXT REVIEW DATE: July 2017
|APPROVED: December 2016
||REVIEWER: Director of Human Resources
|APPROVED BY: Donald B. Kaminski
||REVISION NUMBER: 1
Wheeling Jesuit University will secure employment-related records for the duration required by law.
2.0 POLICY STATEMENT
2.1.1 Personnel Records - Individual employee personnel records will be retained by the University for a period of seven (7) years from the date of the individual employee's termination. While federal employment laws require varying lengths of time for record retention, this number is supported as being the maximum of regulatory requirements. This coincides with the recommended schedule for West Virginia state employment laws.
2.1.2 Benefits Records - Records of benefits plans will be retained by the University for a period of seven (7) years from the date the individual plan expires. While federal employment laws require varying lengths of time for record retention, the federal record retention requirements support this number as being the maximum of regulatory requirements. This exceeds the recommended schedule for West Virginia state employment laws.
2.1.3 Medical Records - Individual medical records will be retained by the University for a period of thirty (30) years from the date of the individual employee's termination. This coincides with the recommended schedule for West Virginia state employment laws and exceeds federal employment law requirements.
2.1.4 IRCA I-9 Forms - Individual I-9 forms will be retained by the University for a period of three (3) years from the date of the individual employee's termination. This coincides with the recommended schedule for federal employment laws.
2.1.5 Hiring Records - All information related to positon vacancies and subsequent hiring activities will be retained by the University for a period of three (3) years from the date in which the individual offered the positon begins work at the University. This coincides with the recommended schedule for both federal and state employment laws.
2.1.6 Internal Checklists - All checklists used internally for employment, onboarding, termination, FMLA, workers compensation, etc. will be retained by the University for a period of three (3) years from the date of event.
2.2.1 Personnel Records - Individual records including, but not limited to: application, resume, offer letter, personal employment contracts, personnel status change notices (promotion, wage / salary increase or decrease, records of commendation or discipline, performance appraisals or summaries, notice of resignation. Background and reference check information, garnishment orders, and consumer reports on job applicants and employees should be kept separate from personnel files since these are not important to make future personnel decisions on the individual employee. They can be in the same hanging file folder but in a separate folder
2.2.2 Benefits Records - Includes, but is not limited to, summary plan descriptions, employee benefit summaries, utilization reports, “wrap documents,” and any information pertaining to a particular plan.
2.2.3 Medical Records - Includes, but is not limited to, records of employee exposure, employee allegations of exposure to hazardous materials, asbestos monitoring/employee exposure measurements, claims for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, accident reports, workers compensation reports and all subsequent activity related to a workers compensation claim.
2.2.4 Hiring Records - Includes, but is not limited to, requisitions, postings, advertisements, applications of non-hires 9both written and electronic), applicant flow logs, reports of individual self-identification, EEO-1 summaries, interview data, information on decisions, and requests to offer.
2.3.1 The time limits noted above meet or exceed the requirements of both federal and state laws and, where
applicable, the higher of the two prevails.
2.3.2 When a notice of potential litigation is received or litigation is suspected, all records relevant to the litigation will be “frozen,” including those scheduled for destruction. In all cases of litigation, all records will be retained for a period of three (3) additional years after the case has been resolved with the exception of workers compensation cases where all records will be retained for four (4) years after the case has been resolved.
2.3.3 Maintaining Separate Files
- Per both federal and state requirements, medical records must be maintained separately from personnel records on the same employee.
- Certain personnel records on the same employee must be kept separate from other personnel records.
- IRCA I-9 forms should be maintained in a separate file, alphabetized by year, to facilitate reviews by interested parties.
- Hiring records must be maintained in a separate location.
2.3.4 All types of employee files should be confidential, with access or disclosure limited to designated persons on a need-to-know basis, or as required by law. Access to individual employee personnel files is defined by specific policy; only those who are certified by HIPAA training and have a need to access medical data are permitted to access an employee's medical files. Access to I-9 forms and hiring files is limited to Human Resources.
2.3.5 Personnel and medical files on individual employees will be maintained in separate cabinets under lock and key with access limited as described above.
2.4 Record Destruction
2.4.1 The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, (FACTA), 15 U.S.C. 1681, is the federal law designed to minimize the risk of identity theft and consumer fraud by mandating the proper destruction of consumer information, i.e. sensitive financial and personal information, including background-check information of applicants and employees. The FTC does not mandate any specific type of disposal method, but states that reasonable measures must be taken to protect against unauthorized access to or use of the information (West Virginia Division of Personnel, 2013).
2.4.2 Shredding, pulverizing, or burning paper records, so that consumer information is unreadable can be appropriate disposal methods, according to the FTC. Disposal can be by personal shredding (preferably via cross cutting shredder) or by paying a vendor to do it for you, at the employer's discretion. Access to storage bins containing material to be shredded at a later time should be limited via a physical locking mechanism. A determining factor as to the appropriate entity to perform this service would be the volume of records requiring disposal. Information stored electronically, such as on computer discs or hard drives, shall be overwritten or erased clean, using appropriate methods or software, and according to State Office of Technology policies (West Virginia Division of Personnel, 2013).
2.4.3 When personnel files are destroyed, there will be a one (1) page summary of the individuals employment history maintained on file for possible future job references, etc.
2.4.4 When benefits information is destroyed, one (1) copy of each summary plan description, employee benefit summary, etc., will be retained for future reference.
The Director of Human Resources has the authority to change, modify or approve exceptions to this policy at any time with or without notice and with the approval of the University President or designee.
Personnel Files policy
Record of File Examination form