Laws and regulations require employers to maintain employment records.
Failure to maintain employment records as required, or
intentionally destroying records relevant to current or anticipated legal
proceedings ("spoliation"), may result in negative legal
consequences for employers, including monetary penalties, unfavorable
evidentiary rulings, or legal inferences that an employer did
not maintain the records because they were adverse to the employer's
position in a case.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires employers to
maintain employment records for one year, and to also
retain records related to a charge of discrimination until final
disposition of the charge (29 CFR 1602.14). Medical records are to be
maintained confidentially and separate from personnel records under the
federal Americans With Disabilities Act (42 USC 12112(d)).
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act requires employers to
maintain payroll records for three years (29 CFR 1627.3).
Private employers of 100 or more employees are required to file an
EEO-l reporting form with the federal Joint Reporting Committee
(29 CFR 1602.7). Federal government contractors that have fifty or more
employees and federal contracts over $50,000 have to maintain written
affirmative action plans.
Public employers and unions are required to submit other reporting forms.
(See contact numbers below to obtain the reporting forms.)
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act, enforced by the U.S. Department of
Labor, requires employers of 50 or more employees
to maintain compliance records for three years, and to maintain medical
records confidentially and separate from personnel records
(29 CFR 825.500). Check the websites of the appropriate government agencies
for more information about record-keeping requirements.
Employers in California are required by the Fair Employment and Housing Act
to maintain employment records for two years (Cal.
Govt. Code 12946); by the California Family Rights Act to maintain compliance
records for two years (Cal. Govt. Code 12946); and,
by the California Labor Code to maintain employee wage records for two
years (Cal. Labor Code 1174). Records needed for
preparation of California Employer Information Reports (CEIR) are to be
retained for two years from the date the CEIR is prepared
(2 Cal. Code Regs 7287). Medical information is to be maintained separately from other personnel records according to the California
Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CC 56 - 56.37).
Employers in Oregon are required by state law to maintain payroll and
time-keeping records for at least two years (OAR 839-20-080).