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Personnel Record Retention Checklist

Every organization needs a record retention and destruction policy and process. While business needs may govern some decisions, there are many federal and state laws that mandate specific periods for retention.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) mandates the longest retention periods. Employee medical records and analysis as required by OSHA must be retained for the duration of employment plus 30 years. OSHA designates even longer periods for exposure to certain toxic substances, and some states have "right-to-know" laws requiring retention of exposure records for the duration of employment plus 40 years.

Click here for a PDF of the helpful, Personnel Record Retention Checklist prepared by our strategic partner, HR That Works! While it is impossible to provide a list of all requirements, this list provides many of the retention requirements under federal law. If an accident claim is still open or if the employer is involved in an employment-related dispute with a terminated employee, documents should be retained even if the statutory period has been passed. When destroying records, be sure to keep a destruction log and destroy records by shredding to ensure that no confidential employee information is released.