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How long must we keep unsolicited résumés?

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. During these tough economic times we get numerous unsolicited e-mailed résumés from candidates seeking employment. Do we have any obligations to keep these résumés on file?

A. In accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), employers must keep the following records at least one year:

  • Résumés (solicited or unsolicited)
  • Advertisements related to job openings
  • Job applications
  • Job orders submitted to any agency
  • Reference checks (keep documentation on all applicants)
  • Results of physical examinations used in connection with personnel actions
  • Selection process for recall
  • Employment test papers that disclose the results
  • Users of employment tests and selection procedures.

In short, it doesn’t matter whether the résumés are solicited, unsolicited, paper or electronic. To comply with federal law you must keep the résumés on file for no less than one year.  

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