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FLSA mandates records retention

November 18, 2010

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, dealers must make, keep and preserve records. Although no particular order or form is prescribed, records must list information in detail.


Well-documented records and timekeeping are very important because controversies often are resolved in favor of employees when necessary documentation is lacking. In addition to FLSA records referenced below, it is recommended that detailed job descriptions and written pay plans be maintained for all employees.


Keep the following records for employees entitled to both minimum wage and overtime:


1.      Full name and employee symbol or number identifier used on any records

2.      Social Security number

3.      Home address, including ZIP code

4.      Date of birth, if under age 19

5.      Sex and occupation

6.      Day and time and day when employee’s workweek begins

7.      Regular hourly pay rate and basis on which wages are paid

8.      Hours worked each workday and total hours worked each workweek

9.      Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings or wages

10.    Total weekly overtime excess compensation

11.    Dates, amounts and nature of additions to and deductions from wages

12.    Total wages paid each pay period

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


For exempt employees, limited records must be kept:


  • For employees covered by the "white collar" and outside salesperson exemptions, maintain and preserve all of the items listed above except for 6 through 10. Note the basis on which wages are paid for each pay period to permit a calculation of total remuneration, including perks and fringe benefits.
  • For salespeople, partsmen and technicians, maintain and preserve all of the items listed above except for 6 and 9. Keep data and information regarding the basis on which wages are paid.
  • For commission employees, maintain and preserve all of the items listed above except for items 6, 8, 9 and 11. Note if individuals are commission employees and keep copies of employment agreements that show the basis of compensation, the length of the agreement, and the effective dates.


These and other records must be preserved for at least two to three years, depending on the type of record. For more details or for more information on the FLSA, see the NADA publication, "A Dealer Guide to the Fair Labor Standards and Equal Pay Acts," from which this article is excerpted. That and other NADA publications can be ordered online at