Employee File Organization

employee file organization upland ca hr

A comprehensive and compliant recordkeeping system is crucial to protecting your organization. But it can also be challenging to develop an effective system that works for your business.

While there are a few federal laws out there regarding employee file organization, you can use the simple system below as a quick reference of “what goes where”. So what are you waiting for? Get organizing!

1. I-9 File

First off, gather all of your Form I-9s. These should be kept in a master file or three-ring binder separate from your other documents.

2. Medical File

Next, your Medical File should contain everything related to an employee’s medical history, including health insurance enrollment forms. It’s important to separate this file because you cannot legally base personnel decisions on an individual’s medical history. For example, who to promote, fire, etc.

Additionally, various privacy laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require you to keep confidential employee medical records separate from basic personnel files. Depending on the record type, the retention period for these files may vary.

3. Personnel File

Third, your Personnel File should contain items that were a factor in the employee’s hiring and employment in addition to items that will have any impact on their employment in the future. For example, performance reviews and corrective action records.

4. Payroll Records File

Fourth, your Payroll Records File should contain the employee’s W-4 and any other payroll-related documents containing the employee’s SSN or other protected information, including garnishments.

5. Injury File

Lastly, you should keep an Injury File for every employee who has an on-the-job injury. This file should contain workers’ compensation claim records and injury reports, and any additional medical records pertaining to the injury. It’s okay to start this file only if an employee suffers an injury on the job.

File Storage

You should keep your files in a secure location that is only accessible to those in the HR function or with a legitimate need to review the information. For example, in locked cabinets in a locked HR office. This information can be stored electronically if that makes more sense for your business. However, just be sure that it’s well-secured and backed up to prevent data loss.

Top Tip: There are specific requirements for storing I-9s electronically, which are probably good standards for any kind of electronic data storage. To learn more, simply search “I-9 storage” in your HR Support Center!

What do you think?

How do you organize your employee files? We’d love to hear your own experiences and what has worked for your business! For even more information on how to have a world-class recordkeeping system, check out our free comprehensive filing checklist in the HR Support Center here!

Need a little extra help? Ask us about our HR Audit service to learn how our Director of Compliance can conduct an on-site assessment of your business to keep you on track with your compliance requirements. And be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn for even more HR tips and tricks to make sure you never miss a beat!

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