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Employers electronic record keeping requirement

San Diego, CA |

How long a public company should keep electronic records of employees assuming they are still in business? How about emails? Financial-wage related?

Also wish to know what if an employee is no longer employed?

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Attorney answers 3


We are just going to post a blog on this issue. While the Labor Code and Industrial Wage Orders require an employer to keep wage records for 3 years, employees can sue for "restitution" under the Business and Professions Code for four (4) years - seeking recovery of minimum wage, overtime, etc., so employers should keep wage records (and documents related to wages) for four (4) years.
An employee can file suit and has sixty (60) days to serve the lawsuit, so if you are real paranoid, you should keep the records for 4 years and 60 days.

Harvey Berger
Pope, Berger & Williams, LLP



How about employee emails?

Harvey Charles Berger

Harvey Charles Berger


I would suggest a minimum of four years - there are other issues, such as trade secrets, confidentiality issues, lawsuits regarding products, etc., that may require you to keep such emails for a longer period of time.


Agree with Harvey.

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While I agree with Mr. Berger with regard to pay records and personnel file documents, the employer has no duty to maintain other emails or other electronic data under the Labor Code. So if you are asking about emails unrelated to pay records or personnel records, and instead are wondering about emails on other issues, the employer has discretion to destroy documents according to its internal policies at any time. One exception to that general rule is there can be exposure for a company to destroy records once it has become aware of a claim against it and the records being destroyed are related to the dispute.

If you are an employer, it is prudent to act as Mr. Berger has suggested.

Pedersen Heck McQueen, APLC is an employee rights law firm assisting employees in all Southern California counties.

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