LOGIN

4.1 Records Retention Policy

Policy:

All documents necessary to conduct American Board of Optometry (ABO) operations are retained as long as there is a reasonable need for them. This policy, which applies documents both on-site as well as those stored with third-party vendors, must be followed by ABO Directors, officers, staff and volunteers.

Procedure:

The ABO, a 501 (c) (6) Missouri nonprofit corporation, as part of its day-to-day operations, and for the benefit of its affiliates, creates, retains and produces documents. This Records Retention Policy (this “Policy”) provides ABO Directors, officers, staff and volunteers with procedures to follow with respect to the preservation of certain types of ABO documents. This Policy is designed to ensure the following.

  1. All documents necessary to conduct ABO operations are available for as long as there is a reasonable need for them.
  2. The ABO complies with all federal and state legal requirements for retaining documents.
  3. Costs of records retention including the costs of storage and retrieval of retained documents are minimized.
  4. Obsolete documents for which there is no operational or legal reason to maintain are disposed of in an appropriate manner.

When Directors, officers, staff or volunteers create documents, they must bear in mind that such documents may be: (1) subject to this Policy; or (2) demanded by third parties in the event of litigation or a government investigation.

Directors, officers, staff and volunteers must read and understand this policy and are expected to familiarize themselves with these procedures. Questions regarding document retention and document destruction must be addressed to the Executive Director or another applicable Director responsible for the area (the “Applicable Director”).

This Policy governs the retention and disposal of documents in each of ABO’s offices. All Directors, officers, staff and volunteers must follow the procedures set forth in this Policy.

Documents created, received or used during the conduct of ABO business, including all messages sent or received using ABO’s e-mail system, are at all times the property of ABO wherever they are located (including documents located at an off-site facility or in a home). Directors, officers, staff and volunteers should understand that, at any time, ABO’s senior management and, in certain circumstances, third parties such as government officials, may review, without prior notice, any and all documents, including documents marked personal.

Any perceived conflict between any applicable law and this Policy should always be resolved by adherence to the law. Any perceived conflict should promptly be brought to the attention of ABO’s Executive Director.

This Policy is to be used as a general guide; it is not an exhaustive study of all records that ABO might maintain from time to time, nor does it address particular nuances of each particular situation. Anyone who is unsure concerning the retention of records or other aspects of this Policy should consult with ABO’s Executive Director. Nothing in this Policy is intended to alter or abrogate any contractual undertaking of the ABO to return, destroy, or not retain copies of confidential information.

The term “documents” includes all paper documents, including without limitation: final documents, drafts, correspondence, and handwritten notes. The term “documents” also includes videotapes, audio tapes, all computer files, disks, e-mail, and all documents in electronic form.

Electronic documents are treated like other ABO records and are to be retained in accordance with this Policy. All Directors, officers, staff and volunteers should adhere to the ABO’s policy on e-mail communications.

In accordance with the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (the “E- Signature Act”), 15 U.S.C. Sec. 7001-7031 (2000), the ABO may choose to comply with statutory and regulatory document retention requirements by storing records electronically.

The storage of such records electronically does not change the period of retention required by the applicable statute or regulation.

If the ABO (or a Director, officer, staff person or volunteer in a matter relating to ABO):

  1. is subject to investigation by a governmental authority agency;
  2. is party to a lawsuit or is threatened with potential litigation;
  3. has received a subpoena or other legal process requiring its appearance in connection with a proceeding; or
  4. becomes aware that an employee or board member has received a subpoena request for documents and that ABO might possess responsive documents;

or it is reasonably foreseeable that (1), (2), (3), or (4) above may occur, then no employee or Director of the ABO is permitted to destroy any document relevant to the subject matter of the investigation or litigation without specific written authorization from the Applicable Director.

If a determination is made that such a situation has occurred, then the Applicable Director must promptly circulate a written preservation notification to appropriate custodians of records and ABO employees directing a suspension of document destruction procedures with respect to documents relating to the situation.

Any questions regarding retention of documents, including whether a particular matter is subject to the above or whether specific documents are or might be relevant to a particular investigation or litigation, should be directed to the Executive Director. [See ABO Record Retention Guidelines]

Records stored in an offsite storage facility must be placed in a facility that has been duly licensed and authorized for such purpose. This facility must incorporate fire-retardant equipment, 24-hour security, and must be accessible to authorized ABO employees during normal business hours. Reasonable steps should be taken to back up electronic records to ensure redundancy in electronic storage.

Reasonable steps must be taken to maintain the security of networks and operational records.  Data must be readily available only to those who need access to perform business function. Sensitive electronic information must be password protected to prevent unauthorized access.

Print information will be secured in locked files to prevent unauthorized access.  The ABO Executive Director and ABO Business Manager will be the only key holders.

All Applicable Directors are authorized to and must oversee the destruction of all files within their area of authority. All documents should be shredded.

The ABO reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to amend or restate this Policy at any time and from time to time.

TYPE OF RECORD/RESPONSIBILITY RETENTION PERIOD
Accounting
Audited Financial Statements

Perpetual

Paid Invoices, Requests for Checks, and Travel and Expense (TE) Reimbursement Requests (with Supporting Check Copy)

7 years

Bank Deposits, Debit, and Credit Memos

7 years

Bank Statements and Reconciliations

7 years

Budgets — Supporting Documentation And Background (paper version)

7 years

Budgets (Electronic Version)

Perpetual

Disbursement Images (Cancelled Checks)

7 years

Cash Receipts Posting Journals

7 years

Cash Management Entries

7 years

Lockbox Images (Lockbox Activity)

7 years

Application Remittances, Credit Memos, and Additional Information Forms

7 years

Employment Contracts

Perpetual

Employee Payroll Records (W2, W4, annual earnings record, etc.)

7 years

Financial Statements

Perpetual

General Journal Entries

Perpetual

General Ledger (maintained electronically)

Perpetual

Inventory List (maintained annually for audit)

Perpetual

Invoices (Accounts Receivable)

7 years

Payroll Journal

7 years

Petty Cash Vouchers

7 years

Subsidiary Ledgers (Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, etc.) (Maintained Electronically)

Perpetual

Fixed Assets

Perpetual

Time Cards

5 years

Corporate Records
ABO Board of Directors Minutes Perpetual
Annual Reports Perpetual

Articles of Incorporation

Perpetual

Constitutions and Bylaws

Perpetual

Contracts

Perpetual

Census Reports

7 years

Employee Benefits
Employee Pension Records, including service, eligibility, personal information, pension paid, etc. Perpetual
Government Reports Perpetual
Pension Documents

Perpetual

Pension Profit-Sharing Plans

Perpetual

Human Resources

Employee Files 4 years
Employee Tax Records 4 years

Garnishments

5 years

Health, Medical, and Safety
     Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 3 years
     Job related illnesses and injuries 5 years
     OSHA Log

5 years

     Requests for accommodation of disability

1 year

Toxic substance exposure records

30 years

Worker’s Compensation Claims

30 years

Hiring Records
    Job applications, resumes, records relating to refusal to hire, advertisements about openings, promotions, or training opportunities 1 year
     I-9 3 years after hire or 1 year after termination, whichever is later.
Insurance Plans and SPD’s

6 years

Separation Agreements

10 years

Legal
   
Claims and Litigation Files 10 years
Copyright and Trademark Registration Perpetual

Operations

Applications

Perpetual

Examinations

Perpetual

Examination Items/Questions

Perpetual

Examination Incident Files

Perpetual

Examination Scores/Result Files

Perpetual

Maintenance of Certification Records

Perpetual

Real Estate

Purchases, including title abstract, opinions, insurance policies, sales agreement, mortgages, deeds, etc. Perpetual
Real estate, tenant leases 10 years (following termination of lease with tenant)

Tax

Income tax returns and cancelled checks (Federal, State, and Local) Perpetual
Payroll Tax Returns Perpetual
Property Tax Returns

Perpetual

Sales and Use Tax Returns

Perpetual

Tax correspondence

Perpetual

Forms W-9

Perpetual

Forms 1099 and 1096

7 years