The U.S Department of Labor makes it clear what records companies must maintain to ensure employees are paid properly, but some employers choose to break the rules and deny workers the compensation they deserve.
You’ve probably seen the official Labor Department posters displayed in the lunchroom, break area, or other common areas at your place of work. One in particular – from the Wage & Hour Division – lists the records every covered employment is required to accurately maintain for each of its nonexempt workers, including:
- Time and day of week when employee’s workweek begins
- Hours worked each day
- Total hours worked each workweek
- Basis on which employee’s wages are paid (hourly, weekly, etc.)
- Regular hourly pay rate
- Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings
- Total overtime earnings for the workweek
- All additions to or deductions from the employee’s wages
- Total wages paid each pay period
When employers fail to count all wages, commissions, shift differentials, and performance-based bonuses and prizes when calculating the employee’s hourly rate, or fraudulently misrepresent or understate hours or earnings, they rob their employees out of wages and overtime pay.
Fortunately, the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates that employers retain compensation records for two years, giving workers who suspect wage theft and abuse the ability to examine the records and check for errors or omissions.