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Properly discarding records indicates good business practice, but the process must be done in a way that does not expose the employer to greater liability risks. Employers should retain employee records, at a minimum, for the amount of time required by law. Potential liabilities and business needs should be assessed: employers should enlarge periods for record retention if it makes good business sense, or if there are any anticipated or ongoing claims related to the records. Employers should guard against identity theft in the disposal of employment-related files. In addition, employers should ensure confidentiality of information. Shred documents that include individually identifying information, such as Social Security Numbers or bank accounts, and those documents collected as part of a background check.
Employers should develop and enforce record retention policies. Records should be filed in a manner that is easily searchable, especially for those documents that are being held in anticipation of litigation (i.e., "litigation holds"). Employers should maintain written logs that identify what information was destroyed and when.
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