Common questions on time-keeping requirements in California for business owners.
1. Are employers required to use a particular type of timekeeping system? -California law does not require you to use electronic timekeeping systems, but moving towards that type of system can reduce mistakes in the recording and calculation of time worked, making it easier to track changes, and could make the review of time entries easier should there be any issues with the employee.
2. Can time records be kept electronically? -The wage orders for the state of California state that time records should be kept on file for at least 3 years but it is up to you whether you want to store it electronically or on paper within the State of California.
3. Length of time electronic records should be kept? -The records must be kept for at least three years. Labor Code Section 1174(d). However, employers should also note that the statue of limitations for many wage and hour class actions in California can extend back to four years under Business and Professions Code section 17200. Therefore, employers should consider keeping wage statements and documents for four years.
4. Time records must record more than just start and stop times for the day -The wage orders require that California keep “time records showing when the employee begins and ends each work period. Meal periods, split shift intervals and total daily hours worked shall also be recorded. -Additionally, Labor Code section 1174 requires employers to keep time records showing the hours worked daily and the wages paid, number of piece-rate units earned by and the applicable piece rate paid.
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