Clarification needed regarding I-9 record retention

I was told by our executive team that we can keep employee records for as long as we want.

For instance, I am being told not to shred the I-9 in case someone is requesting any information and is not on our HRIS system. They told me that it wasn’t illegal?

Can someone clarify this for me? I’ve always been known to shred at the appropriate date as specified in the retention guidelines.

Thanks for your help -  Melitza

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  • Melitza

    While it is true that you can keep I-9s (and any other documentation))as long as you wish, the danger is that should the company be audited, incorrect I-9s can rack up serious fines - audits can even be performed on I-9s of terminated employees and are subject to the same fines. We recommend our clients destroy I-9s as soon as legally permitted. I-9's must be retained for a period of 3 years from date of hire or 1 year from date employment ends, whichever is later. We recommend making a note on terminated employee I-9 forms, the earliest date to shred, then file those forms by date, and shred when possible. Most employee information won't hurt you to keep longer, but I-9s are the exception. And some things, like health /OSHA issues, must be kept for 30 years... I have a document that shows retention dates for all HR documentation if you'd like me to share it with you. Darlene Mack, CEO & Managing Partner, HR Partners Intl, Inc.

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