In helping employers on wage and hour issues, I’m struck sometimes by the occasional failure to maintain proper records on their employees.

For employers, payroll companies now offer to help an employer with such records and can often provide some of the information once the employer shares it with them.

The Connecticut Department of Labor lists eight types of wage & hour records that all employers, regardless of size must keep. They are:

  • The employee’s name and address.
  • The employee’s occupation.
  • The total daily and total weekly hours worked, showing the beginning and ending time of each work period, computed to the nearest unit of 15 minutes.
  • The total hourly, daily or weekly basic wage.
  • The overtime wage as a separate item from the basic wage.
  • Additions to, or deductions from, wages each pay period.
  • Total wages paid each pay period.
  • Working papers/statements of age for each employee under the age of 18.

The employer must maintain these records on their premises, though I haven’t heard of the Department coming down on an employer when such records are maintained electronically in the “cloud” — which is technically off-site.

But employers should consider going beyond the minimum.  If the Department of Labor does decide to do an investigation, it is likely that they will seek the following eight types of documents, at a minimum:

  • Payroll records (including payroll journals, time cards, and/or time sheets) for the last two years;
  • Lists of all employees considered exempt from minimum wage or overtime rules (and the exemption claimed) and the job descriptions for those “exempt” employees;
  • Lists of employees who hold more than one position within your company;
  • List of your three major vendors or supplies;
  • Records or documents that reflect your gross revenue of your business for last three years (typically, the first page of Form 1120 of the U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return);
  • Federal Tax ID number (“EIN”);
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of all employees (present and former) for you for the last two years;
  • Dates of birth, dates of employment and job titles for all those persons under the age of 18 who have worked for you for the last two years.

There are, of course, other record-keeping obligations (including personnel files, which I’ve discussed before), but summer is the perfect time to starting catching up on these items beginning with some items above.  Make it a goal to have this information updated regularly so you’ll be prepared if/when the Department comes knocking.

Better to know your vulnerabilities now and try to fix them, then to scramble at the last minute when faced with a DOL request.