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Recordkeeping Legal Compliance

    From the EEOC:

    Recordkeeping Requirements

    EEOC Regulations require that employers keep all personnel or employment records for one year. If an employee is involuntarily terminated, his/her personnel records must be retained for one year from the date of termination.

    Under ADEA recordkeeping requirements, employers must also keep all payroll records for three years. Additionally, employers must keep on file any employee benefit plan (such as pension and insurance plans) and any written seniority or merit system for the full period the plan or system is in effect and for at least one year after its termination.

    Under Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) recordkeeping requirements applicable to the EPA, employers must keep payroll records for at least three years. In addition, employers must keep for at least two years all records (including wage rates, job evaluations, seniority and merit systems, and collective bargaining agreements) that explain the basis for paying different wages to employees of opposite sexes in the same establishment.

    These requirements apply to all employers covered by Federal anti-discrimination laws, regardless of whether a charge has been filed against the employer. 

    When a Charge Has Been Filed

    The EEOC Notice of Charge form that you receive should explain the agency's record keeping requirements. When an EEOC charge has been filed against your company, you should retain personnel or employment records relating to the issues under investigation as a result of the charge, including those related to the charging party or other persons alleged to be aggrieved and to all other employees holding or seeking positions similar to that held or sought by the affected individual(s).

    Once a charge is filed, these records must be kept until the final disposition of the charge or any lawsuit based on the charge. When a charge is not resolved after investigation, and the charging party has received a notice of right to sue, "final disposition" means the date of expiration of the 90-day statutory period within which the aggrieved person may bring suit or, where suit is brought by the charging party or the EEOC, the date on which the litigation is terminated, including any appeals.

    Summary of Selected Recordkeeping Obligations in 29 CFR Part 1602

    Full manual on recordkeeping (EEOC)

    From the Department of Labor:

    Records To Be Kept By Employers

    Highlights: The FLSA sets minimum wageovertime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards for employment subject to its provisions. Unless exempt, covered employees must be paid at least the minimum wage and not less than one and one-half times their regular rates of pay for overtime hours worked.

    Posting: Employers must display an official poster outlining the provisions of the Act, available at no cost from local offices of the Wage and Hour Division and toll-free, by calling 1-866-4USWage (1-866-487-9243). This poster is also available electronically for downloading and printing at http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/osdbu/sbrefa/poster/main.htm.

    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 the place of employment or in a central records office.

    What About Timekeeping: Employers may use any timekeeping method they choose. For example, they may use a time clock, have a timekeeper keep track of employee's work hours, or tell their workers to write their own times on the records. Any timekeeping plan is acceptable as long as it is complete and accurate.