Question: How long must I retain workers compensation records for employees?
Expert Advice: Here is the information that I can share with you on record retention for Workers Compensation documents. It looks like 3 years is the rule from both an FMLA and a Workers Compensation perspective. As a best practice employers typically keep any documentation for a current employee as long as the employee remains an active employee irrespective of the three year requirement.
Medical History Items and Forms: One to Three Years
(Recommendation: Keep all medical records at least three years.)
Results of employment-related medical exam.
· Proof of compliance with government mandated tests, vaccinations.
· Copies of health-benefit enrollment forms.
· Workers’ Compensation claim records and injury reports.
· Physician statements for sick absences.
· Drug test results.
· Medical documentation for FMLA and ADA, including initial requests and compliance data.
· Acknowledgement of location of Workers’
· Compensation Board.
· Emergency medical information.
(Note: Keep OSHA records for five years after an accident, or job tenure plus thirty years if the individual is exposed to toxic substances.)
§ 825.500 Recordkeeping requirements
(b) No particular order or form of records is required. These regulations establish no requirement that any employer revise its computerized payroll or personnel records systems to comply. However, employers must keep the records specified by these regulations for no less than three years and make them available for inspection, copying, and transcription by representatives of the Department of Labor upon request. The records may be maintained and preserved on microfilm or other basic source document of an automated data processing memory provided that adequate projection or viewing equipment is available, that the reproductions are clear and identifiable by date or pay period, and that extensions or transcriptions of the information required herein can be and are made available upon request. Records kept in computer form must be made available for transcription or copying.
There wasn’t any specific time frame from a Massachusetts stand point for retaining records but I did find this that seems to be in keeping with the information above;
Section 25I. The commissioner of insurance shall examine the affairs, transactions, accounts, records and assets of each group as often as the commissioner deems advisable, but not less often than once every three years. The expense of such examinations shall be assessed against the group in the same amount and manner that insurers are assessed for examinations.
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Other posts you might like to read:
- Workers’ Compensation Nightmare: Case Study
- Workers’ comp, FMLA & the Critical Avoidance of Stacking
- Control Your Workers’ Compensation Costs