Several federal laws prevent discrimination in hiring, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Employers covered under these laws must keep all applications and resumes received for positions for up to a year after they have filled the position. In some cases, records must be kept even longer.
Which Employers Are Coverd?
Title VII and the ADA apply to all businesses with 15 or more employees, while the ADEA applies to businesses with more than 20 employees. Employers covered under these laws must keep all hiring records for both successful and unsuccessful applicants for one year, including resumes, applications, employment tests and background investigations. If an applicant or employee has filed a discrimination action against an employer, the records must be kept until the conclusion of the action, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Federal contractors and subcontractors must keep hiring records on file for two years, except for those with fewer than 150 employers or contracts of less than $150,000. For those contractors, the requirement is one year, according to SHRM.
Resume retention laws for employers and contractors apply to both resumes solicited for specific positions as well as those received when no openings exist. They also apply whether or not the person passed through initial screenings to actually be interviewed for the job.
- Society for Human Resources Management: Applications -- Retention: What Are the Federal Record Retention Guidelines for Applications and Resumes of Candidates We Do Not Select?
- Society for Human Resource Management - Employment Applications: What Are the Pros and Cons of Accepting Resumes When an Employer Has No Positions Open?
Randi Hicks Rowe is a former journalist, public relations professional and executive in a Fortune 500 company, and currently a formation minister in the Episcopal Church. She has been published in Security Management, American Indian Report and Tech Republic.She has a bachelor's in communications, a master of arts in Christian education and a master of business administration.