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How long do employment applications need to kept on file?

Appleton, WI |

I am an employer. Do I and for how long must I keep applications for employment on file and record of?

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Attorney answers 2


I am not aware of any jurisdiction that has requirements as to retaining employment applications. You are a very unusual employer to be concerned about such things.

But it's probably not a bad idea to keep the applications for a while, because these days a lot of employers are getting lots of applications from prospective employees who are willing to work at a "discount," so having a ready supply of able workers can do no harm. Besides, the applications probably don't take up much space.

Good luck to you.

Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as rendering legal advice involves the ability of the attorney to ask appropriate questions of the person seeking such advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement. The purpose of this answer is to provide the questioner with general information, not to outline specific legal rights and remedies.



Thanks Michael, the reason I asked is I have an old applicant filing a discrimination suit and I was asked to turn in any documents regarding our decision in the hiring process. Unfortunately I cannot locate the application, but i do have a skills survey that i have all applicants fill out and there it states the applicant was not looking for full time work when the position I was looking to fill was a full-time position. I wanted to make sure this wouldn't come back to bite me by not having an application.


There are various federal, state, and local laws and regulations that require certain personnel records, including applications for employment, to be kept for a specified period of time. However, you would need to provide some additional information before a proper answer could be provided, such as how many employees do you currently have? I suggest discussing this question with an attorney outside the Internet because it will involve a number of questions and factors. Moreover, you want to ensure you are compliant.

Michael G. Miner
Managing Partner
Midwest Legal Partners, LLC
200 South Executive Drive, Suite 101
Brookfield, WI 53005
Office Phone: 262-780-1461
Cell Phone: 248-462-5680
Fax: 262-789-6699

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