Record Keeping

Employers must record and preserve specified information and records to show compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provisions relating to minimum wage, overtime, equal pay and child labor.

Review the federal record-keeping requirements for all non-agricultural employees.


For each employee COVERED by FLSA:

Retention Period: 3 Years Required Information & Records:

  • Name, address
  • Date of birth
  • Gender, occupation
  • Workweek days
  • If paid O/T... regular pay rate and exclusions
  • Wage basis
  • Hours worked
  • Straight-time earnings
  • Weekly overtime pay
  • Deductions from and additions to wages
  • Pay period covered
  • Pay dates
  • Wages paid by pay period
  • Retroactive payment
  • Also, payroll certificates, union agreements and benefit plan documents.

Supplemental records:

Retention Period: 2 Years Required Information & Records:

  • Time cards
  • Wage rate tables
  • Work time schedules
  • Job evaluations, etc.

For each "white collar" employee EXEMPT from FLSA:

Retention Period: 3 Years Required Information & Records:

Executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees are exempt from the overtime and minimum wage requirements of FLSA. Records are kept to substantiate the claimed exemption, including:

  • The wage basis for the exempt employee (e.g. $500 per week)
  • Total remuneration (sum of pay plus fringe benefits

For each employee paid SUB-MINIMUM wage rate:

Retention Period: 3 Years Required Information & Records:

  • Qualifying learners, apprentices and handicapped employees, for example, may be employed at sub-minimum wage rates. However, the employer must first obtain the proper authorization certificate from the Secretary of Labor. The certificate must be preserved in the employer's records for a specific period from the certificate's expiration date.
  • Also, the employer must identify any employees paid at a sub-minimum wage rate, using a letter symbol on their pay records, and the employer must retain evidence substantiating the special characteristics of the employee that justify the sub-minimum wage rate.
  • The foregoing requirements are in addition to the normal record-retention requirements applicable to employees covered by the FLSA.

Record keeping to substantiate special wage/hour practices:

Retention Period: 3 Years Required Information & Records:

  • For example, employers who credit tips toward the minimum wage requirement must record the following items, in addition to the information normally applicable to a covered employee: weekly or monthly tip amount reported by the employee, amount of tip credit taken, hours of untipped work and hours of tipped work.
  • Another example is an employer that pays employees on a piece rate basis. In addition to the information normally required for a covered employee, the employer must record each piece rate applicable to the employee. The employer must record the number of units completed at each applicable rate during the hours worked in excess of the statutory workweek, and the total weekly overtime excess compensation for the employee at the applicable rate.

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