Records and Retention – Employees


The Human Resource (HR) Department along with appropriate academic and administrative departments maintains certain kinds of information and data on all of their employees.

Mississippi law requires that public entities, which includes Delta State University, provide access to or copies of the public records of DSU in response to a written request. The mandate for open disclosure of the public records has certain exceptions from disclosure, but those exceptions are quite limited.


Employee: This generally includes faculty and staff employees who are working on paid appointments by the University. It generally excludes students or temporary employees. For specific information on who is considered an employee, contact the Human Resources Department.

Supervisor: An employee designated by management who exercises major supervisory functions over another employee or employees. These functions include hiring, evaluating, assigning work, and disciplining employees.


Records Retention Requirements

Departments are responsible for maintaining certain kinds of information and data on all of their employees.

Records of hours worked, all leave taken, and wages paid are required to be kept for all employees (non-exempt) who are subject to the minimum wage and/or overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Records must also be kept on persons employed in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity.

In order to accommodate these record keeping requirements, the following information should be maintained:

Record      Requirement
Payroll or other records, including those for temporary positions showing employees’ names, addresses, dates of birth, social security number, gender, occupation and job class, rates of pay, tax forms, timesheets, all wages subject to withholding, and the actual taxes withheld from wages.   4 Years
Applications and other personnel records (e.g. promotions, transfers, demotions, layoffs, terminations) requests for reasonable accommodation.
  2 Years
Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) for Minorities and Women.   2 Years
FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act)   3 Years
INS Form 1-9 (Employee Eligibility Verification Form)   3 Years
Personnel/employment records (job advertisements and postings, applications, resumes, interview notes and records regarding hiring, assignment, promotion, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, rates of pay or terms of compensation and selection for training or apprenticeship).
  2 Years


Human Resources/Personnel Records

Delta State University follows the policy of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning which directs the method and time within which responses to written public records requests are to be made. [IHL Policy 301.0804] It is the policy of Delta State University to permit a faculty or staff member an opportunity to review his/her HR file maintained in the Human Resource Department. It should be noted that HR files maintained in Human Resources are the official employment record of a faculty/staff member and are the property of DSU and cannot be duplicated without explicit authority from the Director of Human Resources. The Human Resource Department will not disclose an employee’s personal information to any unauthorized person or agency. Authorized agencies, such as the Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) Board of Trustees, the State Tax Commission, or a court of law, are supplied required information upon presentation of a proper request. Department Chairs are obligated to abide strictly to this policy, and it is generally advisable to refer such requests to the Human Resource Department. An employee may have access to his or her HR file by sending a written request, in advance, to the Human Resource Department and receiving approval from the Director of Human Resources.

Disposal of Paper Records after Transfer to Other Media

Compact electronic storage methods provide a space saving and often cost-efficient means of storing records that are originally in paper form. After transfer, The Office of Human Resources will retain the stored electronic records for the minimum retention period specified in this policy and shred paper records containing sensitive and/or confidential information.

Procedure for Employee’s Review of Records

A faculty/staff member who wishes to see his/her HR file should contact the Human Resource Department, in writing, to arrange for a mutually convenient time to review appropriate material.

Type of files/records available for review:

  1. DSU Application Form
  2. Offer Letter
  3. Authorization for a deduction or withholdings of pay
  4. Employment history – including salary information
  5. Performance Development documents, including orientation/probationary period and annual appraisals.
  6. Required Job Related Certifications
  7. Continuing Education Records
  8. Open Enrollment/Fringe Benefit Information
  9. Retirement Application

Type of Files/Records Excluded from Review:

  1. Documents relating to violations or disciplinary actions of University policy.
  2. Letters of reference.
  3. Medical information
  4. I-9 Documentation
  5. Any documents that DSU considers to be confidential, proprietary, or privileged.

Guidelines for a Review:

  1. A request is made by completing the Request To Review HR File The purpose of the written request is to identify the individual in order to avoid disclosure to ineligible persons.
  2. A faculty/staff member may review his/her HR file in the presence of a Human Resources Department staff member during regular business hours.
  3. Records may not be removed from the HR file.
  4. Records may not be copied, but the faculty/staff member may make notes from the information contained in the file.
  5. A faculty/staff member may submit a rebuttal if he/she disagrees with material found in his/her file.
  6. A former staff member does not have access to his/her personnel file after employment ends. However, he/she may request a copy upon receipt of a signed release of information.

NOTE: Department Chairs, Deans, and Cabinet Administration may review the file of his/her current faculty/staff member, maintained in Human Resource Records Management, when appropriate.

Human Resources personnel files contains the information below. Any items related to health insurance, ancillary benefits, retirement, and HIPAA regulations are contained in another file separate from the personnel file. Background checks records are kept electronically and in a secure location in the Human Resources Office.

  • Employment Action Form (EAF)
  • Letter of Offer
  • Application, Vitae/Resume, Transcripts, and/or Reference Letters
  • Reference Checking Forms
  • Identification Documents
  • Direct Deposit Information
  • Federal and State Tax Forms
  • Demographic Information
  • Job Description and Job Posting
  • Employment Contract/Letters of Employment/Annual Notification Letters
  • Employment Verifications
  • Special Awards/Commendation Letters
  • Notice of Promotion/Award of Tenure
  • Disciplinary Notices/Counseling Letters
  • Grievances
  • Probationary Forms
  • Performance Evaluations
  • Leave Records

Responsible Office and/or Policy Owner: Office of Human Resources






Change/Review/Approval Date:

Approved by Cabinet: 02/17/2020