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Employer Recordkeeping Requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Introduction

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is a federal law that establishes both minimum wage and overtime requirements for private and public employers. Under the FLSA, an employer must pay non-exempt employees at least the federal minimum wage for every hour worked and overtime for every hour worked in excess of forty (40) in a workweek. In addition to compensation requirements, the FLSA also imposes certain recordkeeping requirements on employers with employees subjected to the minimum wage and/or overtime requirements.

What records must an employer keep?

Employers must “maintain and preserve payroll or other records” with certain information for each employee that falls under the minimum wage and/or overtime requirements of the FLSA. Generally, the information required includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Employee’s full name, as used for Social Security purposes, and the employee’s identification symbol and/or number if this is used in the place of the employee’s name on any time, work, or payroll records;
  • Home address;
  • If the employee is under the age of nineteen (19), their age must be included;
  • Sex;
  • Occupation in which the employee is employed;
  • Time of day and day of the week on which the employee’s workweek begins;
  • Regular hourly rate of pay for any workweek wherein overtime is due, including an explanation of the pay by indicating the monetary amount paid on a per hour, per day, per week, per piece, commission on sales, or other basis, and the amount and nature of each payment that is excluded from the “regular rate”;
  • Hours worked each day and total hours worked each workweek;
  • Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings or wages due for hours worked;
  • Total premium pay for overtime hours, excluding straight-time earnings for overtime;
  • Total additions to or deductions from wages paid each pay period, including employee purchase orders or wage assignments, as well as the dates, amounts, and nature of the items that make up the total additions and deductions;
  • Total wages paid each pay period; and
  • Date of payment and the pay period covered by such payment.

Additional and/or alternative requirements may be imposed upon employers if they are making retroactive payment of wages or compensation to employees or the employees work fixed schedules.

Failure to Maintain Records

If an employer fails to maintain the appropriate records and is ultimately sued for minimum wage and/or overtime violations, the employer may face a number of difficulties in defending their case. In the case of Taylor v. C&L Towing and Transport, LLC, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida stated that “[i]n situations where an employer has failed to keep proper and accurate records and an employee cannot offer convincing substitutes, the employee ‘has carried out his burden if he proves that he has in fact performed work for which he was improperly compensated and if he produces sufficient evidence to show the amount and extent of that work as a matter of just and reasonable inference.’”

If you feel your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act have been violated, or if you have any other questions regarding your employment rights, please contact the experienced Birmingham employment law attorneys at Wrady Michel & King. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (205) 319-9724. We are here to serve you.