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Claim Your Free Copy of Top 100 FLSA Overtime Q&As

We’ve compiled a list of the 100 most commonly asked questions we have received on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.
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This report, "Top 100 FLSA Q&As", is designed to provide you with an examination of the federal FLSA overtime regulations in Q&A format, including valuable tips for bringing your workplace into compliance in an affordable manner.

At the end of the report, you will find a list of state resources on wage and hour issues. This report includes practical advice on topics such as:
  • FLSA Coverage: How FLSA regulations apply to all employers and any specific exemptions from the overtime requirements
  • Salary Level: Qualifying for exemptions and nonexempt employees
  • Deductions from Pay: Deducting for violations, disciplinary reasons, sick leave, or personal leave

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June 01, 2004
Do You Have Your Record-Retention Act Together?

Record retention is a daunting task for employers--there are so many different requirements, based on a variety of criteria. For example, virtually every federal employment law, ranging from the Americans with Disabilities Act to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, stipulates certain record retention rules for all private sector employers. Many state and local jurisdictions impose additional requirements, and there are special federal requirements that impact government contractors and public sector employers.

For a Limited Time receive a FREE Compensation Special Report on the "Top 100 FLSA Q&As," designed to provide you with an examination of the federal FLSA Overtime Regulations in Q&A format, including valuable tips for FLSA Coverage, Salary Level, and Deductions from Pay. Download Now

Expert opinions differ as to how long employee records should be retained. For example, employee time cards must be kept for 3 years under the Fair Labor Standards Act and only 2 years under the Equal Pay Act, although some advisors say employers should keep these records for 7 to 10 years or even longer. When you look at employee benefits, the dilemma becomes even more challenging.

Benefit record retention

At the federal level, at least six statutes include employee benefit record retention requirements, but do not necessarily focus on the same recordkeeping criteria. For example:

  • The Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) requires that employee benefits and insurance plan records be kept for 1 year after the termination of the plan.

  • The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires that employee/beneficiary pension benefit records be kept for at least as long as an individual's participation in the plan. It also requires Form 5500 welfare and pensions reports and filings be kept for 6 years.

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires that records of benefit premium payments for an employee while the individual is on FMLA leave be kept for 3 years after the leave ends.

  • The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) requires that records supporting the employer's benefit plan tax deductions (e.g., payroll and plan contribution records) be kept for as long as the employer keeps its other tax records but no less than 3 years.

  • The Social Security Act (SSA) requires that health claim payments for Medicare-covered individuals be kept for at least 3 years.

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that policies and procedures, required privacy communications, and required documentation records be kept for 6 years from the date of their creation or from the date when they were last in effect, whichever is later.

These and a number of other federal statutes also have record retention requirements that pertain to other employment issues, such as discrimination, hiring, leaves, medical records, payroll, personnel files, health and safety, termination, testing, and withholding taxes.

Record retention is complex and time consuming. However, in addition to complying with various federal and state laws, keeping good, well-organized records can be very helpful in documenting and supporting an organization's employment actions.

The best way to ensure that your records are in good order is to establish and publish a record retention policy. It's wise to consult with legal counsel. Also, you may want to engage the services of record retention specialists who can help you customize your record retention policies and practices to fit your specific situation.

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