Records Retention

I. Summary

Staff employee’s job-related activities are documented by records kept by a Central Office (e.g. Staff Human Resources or Payroll), depending on the contents of the record.

These files and documents pertaining to an individual’s staff employment at the University are maintained, accessed, copied, transferred, stored and/or destroyed in accordance with the UC Santa Cruz/UC Office of the President UC Records Retention Schedule and the UC-Business and Finance Bulletin: Records Management & Privacy (RMP) Series. Reasonable safeguards will be established to ensure security and confidentiality.

An employee may review or obtain copies of their own personnel records. With reasonable advance notice, the request is subject to the conditions set forth in the appropriate personnel program or bargaining unit agreement, legal privileges, and State or Federal laws.

University employees and agents shall have access to specific information in an individual’s personnel records that is necessary to the performance of their assigned University duties. UC Santa Cruz agents include attorneys and investigators working on behalf of the University. The Records Custodian will review such requests for appropriateness.

If the University rehires a separated employee during the retention period of their inactive personnel records, it shall be returned to active status.

When the retention period for an employee’s file has expired, all documents will be permanently disposed according to campus guidelines to be established by the RMP-2: Records Retention and Disposition: Principles, Processes, and Guidelines.

II. Related Policies, Contract Articles and References

III. Authority

Office of Record:

  • produce record if needed for audits, public records requests, subpoenas or other obligations or business purposes.
  • maintain records for the duration of the retention period of the record, and no longer

Director, Administrative Policy and Records:

  • assigns an Office of Record and retention periods to new records
  • makes changes to existing Office of Record assignments or retention periods

Records Custodian:

  • maintains records of a university department or unit

Central Office Unit designee/Records Proprietor:

  • establishes regular purge schedule for the unit
  • assigns a Record Custodian for the unit
  • requests changes of retention period or Office of Record assignment from the Director, Administrative Policy and Records

For more information on roles and responsibilities, please refer to RMP-1 and RMP-2.

IV. Process Overview

For definition of terms related to records retention and disposition, please refer to RMP-2.


Requests for Access to Information in Personnel Records:

Please refer to PPSM80 - III - B for guidelines regarding the access of information in personnel files requested by the employee, the public, or government agencies.

Note: Employee information may be subject to subpoena or other legal inquiries as well as requests for public information. The Information Practices Department has developed a campus-wide procedure for receiving and responding to subpoenas and other releases of information to public authorities.

Requests for Correction or Deletion of documents from the Personnel Record:

Employee requests in writing to Staff Human Resources (SHR) Employee & Labor Relations (ELR) in accordance with the procedure outlined by the appropriate personnel program or bargaining unit agreement; requests will be reviewed by ELR to insure compliance.

SHR-ELR reviews and processes the request within thirty (30) days and either makes the correction or deletion as requested or forwards to the Information Practices Coordinator to inform the individual in writing of a refusal as well as the reason(s) for it; as well as informing the individual of the right to submit a statement into the file.


File Disposition upon rehire after separation:
If the University rehires a separated employee during the retention period of their inactive personnel records, it shall be returned to active status.


Separation:

The employee’s personnel records must be retained for the period specified by the UC Records Retention Schedule and no longer.

Record Custodian determines the retention period for the separated employee’s file based on separation reason and on the date of the last transaction recorded on the document. This may be the signature date, the date of Online Entry Update (OEU), the date that a report was generated, or a contract expiration date as applicable. For guidance in determining this date for a particular document, please contact the Administrative Policy and Records Director.

  • If separation is due to retirement, then records are retained for 99 years after the end of the fiscal year of the benefit start date (Because of academic and financial calendars, many members elect to retire on July 1st or January 1st). If there is no benefit start date, retain records for 99 years after the end of the fiscal year of the date of death.
  • Separations for any other reason have records with different retention periods depending on the type of employment:
    • For Intern, Volunteer and Contingent Employees (including student employees and Federal Work Study funded positions), records are retained 3 years after the end of the fiscal year in which the specific individual no longer has any employment relationship with the University.
    • For all other employees, records are retained 5 years after the end of the fiscal year in which the employee separates from the University.

* For employee exposure medical records (employee related claims, accident claims, injury claims, OSHA, employee exposure claims, disability, long-term disability, short-term disability, etc.), records are retained 30 years after the end of the fiscal year in which the employee separates from the University

Protection of Records:

Please refer to the following policies on what records are identified as vital and about the protection of these records:

RMP-4: Vital Records Protection

RMP-7: Protection of Administrative Records containing Personally Identifiable Information

Confidential information is any information that meets any of the criteria listed under Section 1798.40 of the California Information Practices Act. Generally, both personal and confidential information should be kept in locked cabinets in areas not subject to regular public access. Some confidential information (e.g. medical records, background checks) must be kept separately from the official personnel files, under more restrictive access rules.

For more information and examples regarding public and personal/confidential records, please refer to PPSM80 - III. For information about the specific security levels required for each file type, refer to the UC Records Retention Schedule.

For questions regarding the protection for these records, please contact the Administrative Policy and Records Director.

Determining the Office of Record for New Documents:

Records Custodian requests assignment of an Office of Record and retention period for new forms from the Administrative Policy and Records Director.

Director, Administrative Policy and Records reviews requests for additions and changes to the UC Records Retention Schedule and communicates those changes to the campus.

VI. Resources