Personnel Files: How Separate Must They Be?

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in Office Management,Records Retention

Q. In a previous issue you said employers “must keep certain records separate from personnel files.” What, specifically, does “separate” mean—in separate drawers of the same file cabinet? In separate offices? How far apart do they need to be? —T.S., Illinois

A. There's no hard and fast rule on how far apart your “separate files,” such as those containing medical records, should be. The best answer: as far as is practical in your organization. In most cases, that means in separate file cabinets. The files don't need to be in separate offices because that's not practical in many organizations.

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