Should I Keep My Employment Records?
Employment laws require that employers hold on to certain employment records. Laws often even dictate how long records should be kept, and how they should be destroyed. But what should employees do in regards to their own paperwork? Many workers wonder if they should keep their employment records.
Employment records can quickly accumulate, but it is a good idea to hold on to certain work-related documents, as they could be used as evidence if any wage, discrimination, or employment disputes come up. Here, employment law attorney Dan A. Atkerson advises employees in the Allen, Plano, and Frisco, TX, area how long to keep employment records.
Even before a person is hired, it is a good idea for them to start holding on to employment documentation. In regards to hiring records, we often advise that individuals keep copies of job applications (including the posted job description and any additional provided paperwork, such as a resume), pre-employment screenings, and offer and/or rejection letters. This type of paperwork should be kept for one year from the date of receiving an employment offer or rejection. If an offer is accepted and the employee enters into an employment contract, that contract should be kept for the duration of employment, and another two years afterward.
While a person is employed they accumulate a lot of personnel documents, which may include performance reviews, documentation of promotions/demotions, records of any disciplinary actions, and documents regarding transfers, changes in job duties, etc. Most of these records should be kept for at least one year. Performance reviews should be kept longer (two years at a minimum), as they can be vital evidence if a wrongful termination claim comes up.
Any payroll-related paperwork, such as pay stubs, time off requests, timesheets, and documentation of bonuses or other monetary awards should be kept for a minimum of three years. If possible, employees should keep these documents even longer - up to seven years - since they will be necessary if unpaid wage claims come up, or in situations involving unequal pay practices.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Records
If an employee requires family and medical leave, they must inform their employer by filing a written request. Whether or not the request for leave is approved, it is a good idea to keep records of the request, as well as your employer’s response. All FMLA-related records should be kept for three years.
Wrongful termination lawsuits are one of the most common types of employment disputes. Since these types of cases are so common, it is especially important that employees hold on to any separation records. Whether it is a voluntary separation or a termination, paperwork should be retained for at least one year, and up to three years.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you suspect that your employee rights have been violated, attorney Dan A. Atkerson can help you build your case with proper documentation and evidence. To discuss your claim in further detail, send us a message online, or call (214) 383-3606 to schedule a consultation.