As an employer, there is a lot of red tape and paperwork that you have to handle in order to comply with the law. From withholding taxes and maintaining a record of who you hired and when to performance reviews and time clock records, there will be a vast amount of data and paperwork related to each employee on your staff.

Obviously, the sooner you can get rid of old records, the more space you have for other information, regardless of whether you store it in the cloud or in a physical filing cabinet. Before you delete those old time clock records, however, you need to familiarize yourself with your obligation to retain those records in order to comply with federal and state employment laws.

How long must you maintain an individual employee’s time clock records?

There are different rules for different kinds of employment records. For example, detailed employment records about a former employee often only need to remain on hand for a year after they leave the business.

However, when it comes to wage and time records, maintaining a more thorough record for a significant amount of time is important. Your company should keep time clock records for both current and former employees for a full three years from the date when the employee last clocked in and out.

Keeping 36 months’ worth of time clock records ensures that employees can compare records of their own with the company’s records to look for discrepancies and that the business will have records on hand in the event that someone brings a claim against them in court.