Category Personnel/Employment
Title How Long Should Our School Keep Employment Records?
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How Long Should Our School Keep Employment Records?
John L. Cooley, Attorney

Q: Our school has been in existence for over 20 years. During that time we have had a stable faculty. However, it is not uncommon for us to have several faculty members move out of state or take other positions each year. How long should we maintain faculty records, and what should we retain?

A: As the Christian school movement matures and individual Christian schools have been in existence for a number of years, this question arises more frequently. In addition, many Christian schools have limited storage space and want to avoid storage costs. Thus in determining whether to retain records schools should consider two general purposes: (1) practical concerns; and (2) compliance with applicable state laws or regulations.

Employment records generally can be divided into two broad categories. For example, Christian schools frequently receive a number of applications from prospective employees who are not hired. Schools may even go through an interview process, using an interview form, but still not hire the teacher. In these cases, the school should retain these records for a minimum of three years following the date of the decision. The school can then destroy the application information or other prospective employee records.

In contrast to this category, however, are records for actual employees. The school should retain these records for a much longer period of time. Schools may need to verify employment or provide reference information years after an employee has left employment. Therefore, schools should generally retain personnel file documents of former employees for a minimum of seven years following the date of termination. This would include all personnel file documents.

Schools may also have some general employment materials not specifically related to an individual employee. These would include faculty or staff handbooks, job descriptions, tax records or documents, and organizational documents. These documents should be maintained permanently. The school should date these documents so that in later years one can easily determine the time frame of applicability.

Notice: This article is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It has been provided to member schools with the understanding that ACSI is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Laws vary by jurisdiction, and the specific application of laws to particular facts requires the advice of an attorney.

Association of Christian Schools International
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