Although employers should maintain files on all employees, not every document related to the employee should be kept in the basic personnel file. A basic personnel file should include documents such as:
- Recruiting and screening documents.
- Job descriptions.
- Records relating to job offers, promotion, demotion, transfer, and layoff.
- Education and training records.
- Pay and compensation information.
- IRS W-4 Forms.
- Employment contracts.
- Handbook acknowledgement.
- Employee benefits.
- Letters of recognition.
- Disciplinary notices.
- Performance evaluations.
- Termination records.
- Emergency contacts.
- Attendance records.
Employers will create and must maintain other records, but these should be kept separate from the basic personnel file:
- Documents relating to disability.
- Veteran status records.
- Reference/background checks.
- Drug test results.
- Immigration (I-9) forms.
- Unsubstantiated complaints.
- Medical/insurance records.
- Child support/garnishments.
- Litigation documents.
- Workers’ compensation claims.
- Investigation records (although documents resulting from the investigation such as disciplinary action records are placed in the employee’s personnel file).
- Requests for employment/payroll verification.
It is also beneficial to maintain all I-9 Forms in a common and separate file so that they are easily accessible when needed.