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FLSA Timekeeping Requirements

Who does FLSA apply to?

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.

What should the timekeeping record include?

Every covered employer must keep certain records for each non-exempt worker.  The law requires this information to be accurate. The following is a listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain:

  • Time and day of week when employee's workweek begins
  • Hours worked each day
  • Total hours worked each workweek
  • Total daily or weekly straight-time hours
  • Total overtime hours for the workweek

What type of record should 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.

What type of timekeeping is best?

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.

What about employees on irregular work schedules?

Employees on Fixed Schedules: Many employees work on a fixed schedule from which they seldom vary. The employer may keep a record showing the exact schedule of daily and weekly hours and merely indicate that the worker did follow the schedule. When a worker is on a job for a longer or shorter period of time than the schedule shows, the employer must record the number of hours the worker actually worked, on an exception basis.