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Employers Now Required to Maintain Personnel Records 4 Years

Traditionally employers have had a duty to maintain records relating to interviewing and hiring employees for three years from the date of the interview (if not hired) or from termination. Under SB 807, which goes into effect January of 2022, employers must now preserve personnel records for employees and applicants for four years from the date they were created, after an employee is terminated and when an applicant is not hired. Employers also now have a statutory duty to preserve all relevant records if they receive notice of claim until the later of the resolution of the complaint or the expiration of the statute of limitations for the claims.

Additionally, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s (DFEH) deadline to complete its investigation and issue a right-to-sue letter for employment discrimination complaints treated as class or representative actions is extended to two years, and the time in which an individual can file a civil action for statutory violations is extended by tolling that period while the DFEH investigates. This is extending the period of liability for employers throughout California.

As the year draws to an end, be sure to review your retention policies and make sure that records are not discarded prematurely under these new laws.


For questions about your retention policies or other matters, reach out to our experienced Labor & Employment Department at 408.286.5800 or e-mail 




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