Recordkeeping Practices for Personnel Files

You probably have heard us say at MSEC, there is no “one way” of organizing employee personnel files. It is the responsibility of the HR department or designee to be certain of the consistency and safety of the personnel files. This may be a good time to do a random check of several personnel files for their contents and organization.

Here are several questions as you review your recordkeeping practices:

  • Are personnel files kept in a secure manner?
  • Is access limited? Use caution in placing contract workers and individuals from temporary agencies into positions with access to personal identifying information. Review with staff on the importance of protecting this information and making sure files are secured when not in use.
  • Are employee medical documents kept in a separate, confidential medical file?
  • Is it time to do an audit of the I-9 files?
  • Are accident or investigation reports filed in a general HR file for ease of access?
  • Are files with Protected Health Information (e.g., health insurance enrollment forms, claim forms, HIPAA authorization forms) kept in separate files from all other personnel and medical information?
  • Do you have a system for document disposal? With the increased concern of identity theft, employers are responsible to take extra precautions on file management and disposal.

These are just a few suggested best practices with personnel files. Read our FYI Recordkeeping: Employee File Management for more information, and for suggestions on the types and number of employee files based on the needs and size of your organization.