Employers have access to an incredible amount of information about their employees: dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, bank account information, background/criminal history reports, tax forms, medical records, employment histories, performance reviews, compensation histories and much, much more.
In the wake of high-profile cyber attacks, in which information from several employees’ personnel files was leaked to the public, many employers and HR professionals are taking a second look at how secure their employees’ personal information and records are.
How to securely store your employee records.
While parts of some federal laws (HIPAA, ADA) establish guidelines on how employers should secure or grant access to certain aspects of employee files (like medical records), there is not one specific filing system that employers are required to use. Employers should, however, familiarize themselves with any state-specific regulations regarding employee/personnel files.
One of the more common filing systems employers use is the two-part filing system. In this system, the employer keeps two separate files for each employee: a “personnel” file and a “confidential” file. The personnel file would typically house items that require less security, like resumes and discipline records, while the confidential file would contain items that require more security, like medical histories and personally identifiable information.
One aspect of employer record maintenance that seems to trip many organizations up is exactly how long they are required to keep certain types of records. Federal law requires that employers keep and maintain certain information pertaining to each of their employees for a certain length of time. But exactly how long an employer has to keep a particular employee record on file varies depending on the employment and labor law compliance regulations established by the relevant legal authority that governs the information contained therein.
Next: An easy-to-use employee record filing system any business can use…