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What Payroll Records Do I Need to Keep?

February 10, 2022 | posted by Abacus Payroll

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), every employer must keep certain accurate records for each non-exempt worker that has proof of hours worked and wages earned. This backup information is essential to have on-hand in event of a wage-and-hour audit.

Required Payroll Recordkeeping

The following is a listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain:

1. Employee’s full name and social security number.

2. Address including zip code.

3. Birth date, if younger than 19.

4. Gender and occupation.

5. Time and day of week when employee’s workweek begins.

6. Hours worked each day.

7. Total hours worked each workweek.

8. Basis on which employee’s wages are paid (e.g., $15 per hour, $800 a week)

9. Regular hourly pay rate.

10. Total daily or weekly earnings.

11. Total overtime earnings for the workweek.

12. All additions to or deductions from the employee’s wages.

13. Total wages paid each pay period.

14. Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment.

How Long Should You Save These Payroll Records?

The FLSA requires employers to save payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, sales and purchase records for at least three years. Records on wage computations, work schedules, time cards, and backup of wage deductions or additions should be saved for a minimum of two years.

Department of Labor Guidelines

Learn more about what is expected of employers directly from the source at

Download and save the DOL Fact Sheet on Recordkeeping Requirements under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) →

What about HR employee files?

For a more comprehensive list of what else needs to be kept on each employee, read our article “Employee Records: What, When, and Where to Keep.


If you have questions or need assistance, the Abacus Payroll team is here to keep your workforce as streamlined as possible. Request a quote today!

About the Author: Abacus Payroll

Abacus Payroll, Inc. is a leading provider of payroll solutions for businesses of all sizes. Whether yours is a family-owned small business or a national corporation, we provide payroll, tax and other financial services on time and at an affordable price. Unlike other payroll providers, Abacus Payroll will assign your very own payroll specialist who will understand your payroll needs inside and out. So no more speaking to a different person each time, no more sitting on hold for hours and most importantly no more missed deadlines! Contact us today to see how we can help your business. You can count on us.