It’s always a good idea to have your personnel files in good shape—and that includes volunteer personnel, as well. Some federal and state grants and other funding require employment documentation and reporting, while other funding sources may want to inspect your records. Besides, many state and federal laws require recordkeeping.
Here’s what every employee and volunteer file should contain:
- Original employment or volunteer application.
- Original signed authorization for pre-employment background check or volunteer background screening.
- Any written notices from the records check. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that the applicant be given copies of the notices.
- Tax forms, such as the W-4 for withholding federal and social security taxes.
- Any state-required tax forms.
- Hiring documentation, such as signed offer letters.
- Performance evaluations, change forms (for job titles, raises, job changes, benefits plans, etc.)
- Direct deposit authorization.
Confidential paperwork, such as drug test results, background check results or medical information should be kept in a secure file.
Employment eligibility verification forms (Form I-9) for all employees should be kept together in a separate file.
Keep all personnel files in a locked cabinet and restrict access to two or three people; for example, the HR person, the volunteer manager and the executive director. Keep a log so when an employee’s file is reviewed it can be noted with the date, person who reviewed it, and reason.
Take care when destroying confidential records. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2005 requires all employers to burn or shred all applicant, employee and volunteer personal information, such as Social Security numbers, addresses and telephone numbers, as well as any information reported to a consumer reporting agency for a background check.