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Employer Recordkeeping Requirements

Federal laws, such as the Federal Insurance Contribution Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Equal Pay Act as well as the Civil Rights Act, impose recordkeeping tasks on employers. Recordkeeping duties include producing, updating, and preserving information.

California legislation additionally imposes numerous recordkeeping requirements. These run along with or in conjunction with the government's demands. The recap below gives a general summary of state recordkeeping demands for companies in California.

Additional state and government recordkeeping requirements may exist for specific industries. Seek advice from local state agencies to learn more concerning recordkeeping requirements that may impact your industry.

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Personnel Records

Employers must keep personnel records for at least 3 years after separation from employment at the area where workers report for the job, or at another area acceptable to the company and those accredited to evaluate or review them.


The above requirements are not applicable for:

  • Records associated with the investigation of a possible criminal offense
  • Letters of reference
  • Ratings, reports, or various other documents obtained before an employee's employment as well as prepared by identifiable examination board members or about a promotional exam
  • Employees working for an agency subject to the Information Practices Act; or
  • Employees covered under a legitimate collective bargaining agreement that recommends:
    • The wages, hours of job, and working conditions for the staff members
    • A measure for the assessment as well as duplicating of personnel records
    • The premium wage rate for all overtime hours worked; and
    • A regular rate of pay at the very least 30 percent more than the state base pay price.

Payroll and Earnings Statements

Employers must create personnel payroll documents and keep them for a minimum of 3 years at the area where employees function or at the main area within the state. Each employee payroll record must consist of:

  • The staff member's name and address
  • Proof of the staff member's age (if a minor)
  • Gross wages earned (including exact records of all gratuities obtained)
  • Total hours worked by the employee (unless an exemption applies to a fixed salary or overtime exception)
  • If the staff member is paid on a piece-rate basis, the number of piece-rate units completed and any type of suitable piece-wage price
  • All deductions (they can be aggregated and shown as one item)
  • Net wages earned
  • The inclusive dates of the period for which the worker is paid
  • The worker's name and his/her identification number (or the last 4 of the Social Security number if workers are not assigned an employee number)
  • The company's name and address (as well as the lawful entity that secured the services of the employer if the employer is a farm labor contractor)
  • All hourly rates apply to each worker throughout each pay period.


In addition, temporary service employers must likewise keep documents of the rate of pay as well as the total hours each worker works for a temporary service job.

Under the law, staff members have the right to evaluate and obtain their payroll records from an employer within 21 scheduled days after requesting them. Companies that fall short of offering accessibility to pay-roll records within 21 days might be fined as much as $750 per offense.

If an employer fails to produce or keep the documents as required, the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) might get it to pay penalties of up to $4,000. A non-compliant employer may also be ordered to pay court prices, attorney's charges, and the amount of any harm an offense caused to an employee.

Equal Pay

Companies must maintain enough documents to verify to the DLSE that they pay comparable wage rates to workers who carry out work that requires similar levels of ability, initiative, and responsibility under comparable working conditions. If there is a variation in wage rates, the records need to justify a distinction based on ranking, quality, efficiency (top quality or quantity of manufacturing), or any other system that takes into consideration bona fide factors other than sex.

If an investigation occurs as well as an employer fails to provide sufficient records, it might be needed to repay incomes, passion on back incomes, court prices, lawyer's charges, and damages (generally an amount equal to back wages). California legislation needs employers to keep these records for at the very least two years.

Child Labor

Employers must keep a record of the safety and security training they provide to minors for the procedure of tractors and machinery. Personnel records for minors must identify the minor and contain copies of any certificates or documents authorizing the minor to work for the employer.

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Unemployment Compensation

The California Employment Development Department (CEDD) needs employers to keep precise documentation of any details it might need to evaluate specific eligibility for advantages, including records to reveal each staff member's status (active, on layoff, on leave) and income. If a company fails to keep and provide the documents needed, the CEDD will presume the employee is qualified to obtain the maximum advantage payable under the law and the company's account will be billed as necessary.

When a claimant works for more than one employer, added evaluations will be charged only to those employers that fail to keep or provide sufficient records.

Working with Contractors

Employers must keep documentation of contractor agreements in the building, farm labor, garment, janitorial, security guard, or stockroom industries for a minimum of 4 years.

The records should prove that, at the time of the agreement, employers had adequate funds to allow the service providers to abide by all relevant local, state, and federal laws. Specifically, the document must include:

  • The company's name, address, telephone number as well as an identification number
  • The contractor's telephone, name, and address
  • The contractor's workers' compensation insurance policy number and the name, telephone, and address number of its insurance carrier
  • A summary of services the professional will provide (including start and conclusion days)
  • The amount of commission or other settlement made to the contractor for services provided under the agreement
  • The complete number of employees to be utilized under the agreement, and the total quantity of all earnings to be paid as well as paydays
  • The address of any real property that will be used to house workers in connection with the agreement of service
  • The vehicle identification number of any kind of vehicle the contractor will make use of in connection with the services it will offer to the company
  • The number of the car insurance coverage that covers the cars discussed above and the address, telephone as well as name number of the insurance policy service provider
  • A list of any independent contractors the contractor may hire to provide its services to the employer along with the independent contractor’s local, state, and federal license identification numbers (if applicable); and
  • The signature of all the parties to the contract and the contract and the date the contract was signed.

Workers’ Compensation

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) calls for all employers to videotape and report every work injury or ailment that causes an employee to look for medical treatment beyond emergency treatment or lose functioning time past the date of the injury or illness.

Self-Insured Employers

The DWC calls for self-insured employers to record as well as report:

  • The amount of all compensation insurance claims
  • The number of benefits paid to date
  • An approximated amount of future liability on open cases under state and federal laws
  • The average number of employees and the total wages for every adjusting place
  • A listing of all open indemnity claims; and
  • The quantity of down payment made by the company

Workplace Violence

The DLSE calls for companies to keep an eye on any type of leave a worker takes because the worker or the employee's immediate family member or signed-up domestic partner was the victim of a fierce felony, a severe felony, felony theft, or embezzlement. These records should continue to be confidential.

In addition, employers must maintain documents of any type of violence committed against a community healthcare worker they employ. A copy of these documents must be filed with the DIR.


For more information, contact your TPG Insurance Services representative.


California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) website

California Employment Development Department (CEDD) website

The DLSE supplies information regarding company recordkeeping requirements here.

California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) website

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