Are Employers Responsible For Keeping Records of Their Employees’ Work Hours?

Under federal law, employers of nonexempt workers (including hourly workers) must keep records of certain information, including the number of hours worked by their employees. There is no specific requirement for the form in which the records should be kept, but there are clear requirements about the kind of information employers must keep. Those requirements are:

  • the employee’s full name, social security number, sex and occupation
  • the employee’s birth date if the employee is under 19
  • the time and day of the week when the employee’s work week begins
  • the total number of hours worked during each work week
  • the basis on which the employee is paid (hourly rate, weekly rate, “piecework”)
  • the hourly pay rate
  • the total daily or weekly earnings
  • the total overtime pay
  • any additions or deductions from the employee’s wages
  • the total wages paid for each pay period
  • the date the employee is paid and the pay period the payment covers

Even employers who try to keep accurate records make mistakes. That’s why it is important for employees to keep their own records of the time they begin and end their work day, and any meal or rest breaks taken. If your employer requires that you sign a document acknowledging your paycheck is accurate before you can get your paycheck, read that document carefully and check the employers’ record of the hours you worked against your own record.