Kramer, Elkins & Watt

What employee records am I required to keep?

What employee records am I required to keep?

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No one ever asks me this question. I’m hopeful that is because all the business owners that I know and work with know these rules and keep immaculate records. On the off chance that I am wrong, the following is information regarding some basic recordkeeping requirements.

Recordkeeping requirements are mandated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), and other additional state and federal laws and agencies. The following is a non-exhaustive list that includes documents and information that all employers should retain, with respect to their employees:

  • Full name and social security number.
  • Address, including zip code.
  • Birth date, if younger than 19.
  • Sex and occupation.
  • Time and day of week employee’s workweek begins.
  • Hours worked each day.
  • Basis on which employee’s wages are paid (e.g., per hour, per week, piecework.)
  • 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.
  • Worker’s compensation records, including employer’s first report of injury.
  • Tax forms filled out by individual employees.

Not every requirement listed above is applicable in every situation.  Depending on each employer’s individual type of business, business size and business structure, and the type of employees employed, an employer may be subject to additional or different requirements.

The requirement to keep the aforementioned documents does not end when an employee’s employment ends. Each type of document carries with it a different time period requirement for keeping the record.   It is a good idea to have a records retention policy, where the different time periods are laid out and adhered to.

Check out KEW’s post about employee files and common I-9 mistakes for more information about these two specific types of recordkeeping.

For a more detailed analysis regarding what records an employer should keep and for how long, contact attorneys Leslie Elkins or Jessica M. Kramer at or 608.709.7115.