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May 12, 2010
Time-Keeping Requirements for Exempt and Non-Exempt Workers

In a BLR webinar titled "Reducing Overtime Costs: What You Legally Can—and Can't—Do to Keep Workers at Their Straight-Time Rates," Laura P. Worsinger, Esq., explained that employers are not required to keep time records for employees who are exempt from overtime but that requiring them to clock in and out does not affect the exempt status.

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Have Employees Track Their Own Time

Requiring all of your employees, both exempt and nonexempt, to keep track of their work time is a good way both to:

  • Keep an eye on how your employees are spending their days; and
  • To maintain valuable evidence in case you're ever faced with a claim that you misclassified employees as exempt.

Time-Keeping Requirements for Non-Exempts

Worsinger offered the following guidelines regarding keeping time records for non-exempt employees:

  • Time records must be kept, showing when an employee begins and ends each work period. This includes meal periods, split shift intervals, and total daily hours worked. Rest periods need not be recorded.
  • All required records should be in English and in ink or other indelible form.
  • The records should be properly dated--showing the month, day and year--and kept on file by the employer for at least three years at the place of employment.

Laura P. Worsinger, Esq. is Of Counsel with the Los Angeles office of Dykema Gossett PLLC. She has broad counseling and litigation experience and specializes in the defense of employers in individual and class actions involving wage and hour violations, misclassification, discrimination, wrongful termination, and other employment-related proceedings. She can be contacted at

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