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Records Your California Employer Must Keep

Some California business owners not aware of the detailed record keeping that is required of them.  Under the FLSA, there are certain records every California employer must keep for non-exempt workers. Those include:

  • Employee’s full name and social security number.
  • Address, including zip code.
  • Birth date, if younger than 19.
  • Sex and occupation.
  • Time and day of week when employee’s workweek begins.
  • Hours worked each day.
  • Total hours worked each workweek.
  • Basis on which employee’s wages are paid (e.g., “$9 per hour”, “$440 a week”).
  • Regular hourly pay rate.
  • Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings.
  • Total overtime earnings for the workweek.
  • All additions to or deductions from the employee’s wages.
  • Total wages paid each pay period.
  • Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment.

Your employer needs to preserve payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, sales and purchase records for at least three years. 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.

Additionally, in today’s workplace, merely cutting an employee a check is not enough — California law specifically requires that California employers keep accurate records of an employee’s work hours and compensation. There are pluses and minuses to this mandate. Not only does thorough recording keeping assist with accounting, it can also serve as evidence in a potential employee claim for overtime, missed meals, and/or missed breaks. Without these records, it is almost an impossibility for an employer to defend against such a claim.

Under federal law, what employee data must a California employer keep? Section 7 of each Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Order details an employer’s record keeping requirements for each employee:

  • Full name;
  • Home address;
  • Occupation;
  • Social Security number;
  • Birth date (if under 18);
  • Time records showing when the employee begins and ends each work period, including time records for meal breaks that show when the break started and ended;
  • Total daily hours worked;
  • Total wages paid;
  • Other compensation paid per payroll period;
  • Total hours worked in the payroll period; and,
  • Applicable rates of pay including piece rate or incentive plans including an accurate production record.

For more information on what records your employer is required to maintain, contact the Orange County employment lawyers at Hardin & Associates today.