Should I Keep My Employment Records?

By Gregory Thyberg on May 05, 2021


employment recordsThe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, requires that employers keep all employment records for a minimum of one year from the date of an employee’s termination. Certain documents, such as those pertaining to payroll, must be kept for a minimum of three years. With these regulations in mind, workers are likely to wonder if they should keep copies of their own employment records.

Here, employment lawyer Gregory Thyberg goes over general employment record recommendations that he suggests for his Sacramento, CA, clients, including which employment records should be kept, and for how long.

Why Should I Keep Employment Records?

Since employers are required to keep copies of an employee’s employment records, even after termination, workers may think it is unnecessary to keep their own copies of this type of paperwork. In actuality, it can be extremely beneficial to keep employment records on hand. 

Employment records are like a written history of everything that happens during the span of employment, including pay rates, raises, promotions/demotions, employee reviews, etc. This type of documentation can be valuable when creating a resume, applying for a new job, or applying for a promotion or new position within the same company.

Employment records can also prove invaluable in the event of an employment dispute. If a Sacramento employee believes that they have been the victim of discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination, or if there is a wage dispute, employment records are one of the best sources of evidence. It is important that employees hold onto their own records so they do not have to rely on an employer or former employer for evidence that could be crucial to their case.

Which Employment Records Should I Keep?

Employees are likely to collect a large amount of paperwork and documentation throughout the span of employment. Holding onto this amount of records can seem daunting. Fortunately, most employees maintain digital records of employment, which makes saving them a lot easier. And employees do not have to hold onto every form of workplace communication or documentation they receive. However, we strongly recommend that employees keep copies of these employment records:

  • Hiring records (including job application, resume, and offer/rejection letter)
  • Personnel records, such as those pertaining to promotions/demotions, job transfers, and any disciplinary action
  • Employee reviews and/or job performance reports
  • Payroll records
  • Records pertaining to time off requests, such as family and medical leave
  • Separation and/or termination records

How Long Should I Hold on to Employment Records?

We recommend that Sacramento employees adhere to EEOC guidelines regarding how long to hold onto employment records. Documents related to payroll should be kept for at least three years, while all other records should be kept a minimum of one year. 

Keeping in mind that the statute of limitations for most employment disputes is three years in the state of California, it is a good idea to keep employment records until that timeline has passed in case a conflict or dispute arises.

Contact Thyberg Law

Employment law attorney Gregory Thyberg has 35 years of experience fighting workplace injustices. If you have an employment dispute that needs to be settled, he would be happy to assist you. To discuss the details of your claim, contact us online or call our law firm at (916) 204-9173.

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