Employer Information
Record-Keeping and Reporting

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).

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