Why Accurate Wage And Hour Records Are A Must For Family Employers

Two New York fencing companies were required to pay $206,904 and $103,452, respectively, in back wages, plus an equal amount in liquidated damages, for numerous violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The U.S. Department of Labor investigated the employers and concluded they violated the FLSA by paying employees cash for overtime work; failing to combine total work hours; misclassifying workers; falsifying records and paystubs; failing to keep records of worker' hours and contact information; and not keeping records of cash payments.

The companies were also required to paid $14,520 in civil penalties. www.dol.gov (May 02, 2022).


Commentary and Checklist


Unless family employers keep accurate and contemporaneous wage and hour records, their ability to successfully defend a wage and hour claim will be limited, like the companies in the cited article.

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires accurate recordkeeping. A review of the DOL's Fact Sheet #21 can be helpful.

Family employers should keep at least the following information to help prevent a wage and hour violation:

·      Staff personal information, including full name, Social Security number, home address with zip code, sex, and date of birth if under 19 years of age

·      Position held in the organization

·      Information about time worked, including the time and day when the staff member's workweek begins, and the total hours worked per day and per week.

·  Rate of pay for regular working hours and the basis on which the staff member is paid (i.e., per hour, per week, or per piece)

·  Total daily or weekly earnings for both straight time and overtime

·  Any additions or deductions made to wages

·  Total wages paid each pay period

·  Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment

·      Preserve these records for at least three (3) years: payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, sales, and purchase records.

·      Preserve records on which wage computations are based for two (2) years (i.e., timecards and piece work tickets, wage rate tables, work and time schedules, and records of additions to or deductions from wages).

·      The records may be kept at the place of employment or in a central records office.

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