Employee record keeping for restaurants and bars

Somewhere in your office, you probably have one file for each current and former employee over the past few years.  With one in every two employers facing EEOC complaints, employers will want to change how they store employee records.  The best practice is to keep five files for each employee:

Confidential/Payroll File

  • Tax Information/Deductions/W-4
  • Garnishments
  • Wage or Employment Verification Forms


  • Enrollment Forms
  • Changes in Coverage
  • Benefits History

Employment and Performance Related File

  • Application and/or Resume and Notes
  • Hiring Records and Reference Check Results
  • Job Offer Letter
  • Performance Reviews
  • Status Changes
  • Disciplinary Actions
  • Customer Compliments/Complaints
  • Training Certifications/Records, and Seminars Attended
  • Signed Acknowledgement Receipts


  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Disability
  • Doctors Notes
  • Medical Restrictions/Reasonable Accommodations
  • Accident Reports
  • Family Medical Leave Act
  • Substance Abuse Testing/Information


  • Legal Documents/Actions
  • Harassment Investigations
  • Labor Law Complaints

You will also want to consider maintaining these records separately by category rather than by employee (ex. a medical file with all employee records).  This will have the best outcome in an audit.