Q & A — September 16, 2014

Q. How should individual employee personnel files be organized?

A. 4.1.1Individual employee personnel files should be organized so that information can be accessed easily. This is best accomplished by arranging the contents into sections with similar items. For example, new hire information, compensation history, performance matters, certifications/training, acknowledgements, etc.

Although there is no one way to organize the files, employers should ensure consistency in the types of information maintained in the personnel files. Medical records, personal information, and protected health information (PHI) should be kept separate from individual employee personnel files. In most cases, MSEC recommends that employers maintain at least three files for employees: personnel; medical, non-Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) information; and HIPAA-covered information or PHI.