Regulations You Need to Know
Do you know when shredding personnel files is allowed? Shredding too soon puts your business at risk for running afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Yet waiting too long means files stack up, putting an unnecessary strain on your time, space and financial resources.
Fair Labor Standards Act
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, companies must keep basic records regarding employment, including time cards and backup information for wages, for at least two years. Payroll records, employment contracts, agreements, purchase records and other items must be retained for at least three years. In the event any information is involved in a lawsuit or legal matter, records should be kept past retention guidelines if necessary until the issue is resolved.
Family Medical Leave Act
Information related to FMLA claims should be retained at least three years. Such information might include dates leave is taken, leave requests, documents regarding leave policies and decisions, payment records associated with leave, and any medical records related to the leave or request.
Other Documents to Keep
Records related to workplace injuries and illnesses must be kept for five years, though OSHA requires certain documents to be kept for 30 years. Immigration documents regarding legal workers should be retained for at least one year following the last day of work performed by a worker, and retirement plan payment documentation should be retained at least six years. Please note that there may be difference with Cal OSHA regs so consult your HR legal services provider.
After Retention: Shredding Personnel Files
Following retention guidelines protects your company, but shredding personnel files protects both your company and your current and former employees. Employment records are filled with personal information, including social security and account numbers, making them a prime target for identity thieves. Work with Sergeant Shredder to protect records against data security threats after retention requirements have passed. We suggest reviewing this list of items we routinely shred to make sure you aren’t accidentally throwing away items that should be shredded.
Of course, talk with your business’ employment legal counsel to make sure your industry requires storing personnel-related information for a longer period of time.
How often do you schedule shredding of personnel files?