Employee Personnel Files
Putting the right forms in an employees’ personnel folder does take some time, however, it is hugely beneficial in the long run. Not only do you have all the documents you need in one place but you have them easily accessible when the time comes for performance appraisals, compliance with government audits, in case you need to discharge or lay an employee off and it just generally keeps you on the right side of the law.
What to keep in employee personnel files:
Applicants’ resume, reference and background checks
IRS Form W4 (Employee’s Withholding)
I-9 Form (US citizenship and work status)
Acknowledgment of employee manual
Any forms relating to employee benefits
Next of kin and emergency information
Licenses and certifications
Customer and co-worker complaints
Records of completion of training
Any other agreements e.g. employment contract, non-compete agreement
Documents relating to the departure or termination of the employee
What to keep separately:
Medical records: Businesses are legally required to keep medical records in a separate file that has limited access
Review your employee files at least annually
Your employees have the right to have access to their employee files. A good general rule is that you don’t want to put anything in there that you would not want a jury to see. Avoid any references to the employee’s private life, race, sex, religion or political beliefs.
Employee files should be kept under lock and key with limited access.