Employee File Retention

Can anyone give me a good rule of thumb for retaining Personnel Files once a person leaves the company.  I have heard 30 years, 15 years, and 7 years.  I am looking for a good round number that will encompasses all laws of when I can purge files.

Thank you for your input in advance.

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  • I just finished researching this myself.  30 year retention is only for Workers Compensation files and it is 30 years after the date of the accident.  There are different retention periods of all the various records so we decide to follow the IRS rule and use 7 years retention for all other personnel files since that encompasses all the various retention period requirements for the various types of files.

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  • Colleen Bennett  Thank you so much!  This is great!

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  • Jefferson Alcott  You are very welcome.

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  • I agree with the above.  The only thing I would add is that it is my understanding that medical records need to be kept for 30 years as well.  So physicals, drug tests, mantoux testing, etc.

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  • Thank you so much, this is very helpful.

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