Dept. of Labor Record Retention Policy

U.S. Department of Labor

Employment Standards Administration Wage and Hour Division

Fact Sheet #21: Recordkeeping Requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

What Records Are Required: Every covered employer must keep certain records for each non-exempt worker. The Act requires no particular form for the records, but does require that the records include certain identifying information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. The law requires this information to be accurate. The following is a listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain:

1. Employee's full name and social security number.

2. Address, including zip code.

3. Birth date, if younger than 19.

4. Sex and occupation.

5. Time and day of week when employee's workweek begins.

6. Hours worked each day.

7. Total hours worked each workweek.

8. Basis on which employee's wages are paid (e.g., "$9 per hour", "$440 a week", "piecework")

9. Regular hourly pay rate.

10. Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings.

11. Total overtime earnings for the workweek.

12. All additions to or deductions from the employee's wages.

13. Total wages paid each pay period.

14. Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment.

How Long Should Records Be Retained: Each employer shall preserve for at least three years payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, sales and purchase records. Records on which wage computations are based should be retained for two years, i.e., time cards and piece work tickets, wage rate tables, work and time schedules, and records of additions to or deductions from wages. These records must be open for inspection by the Division's representatives, who may ask the employer to make extensions, computations, or transcriptions. The records may be kept at place of employment or in a central records office.


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