Note: this post does not constitute legal advice. If you have questions, consult a local attorney. 

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has been making headlines recently, with 14 restaurants in Los Angeles County getting fined this week for FLSA violations. In addition to owing employees back pay, the Department of Labor also found that these restaurants weren’t keeping the required employee time card records.

And, clearly, the businesses also received a ton of bad press — which you can see here, here, here, and here — that may even eclipse the fines. And these are all within the past three days of this article’s posting.

Homebase can help keep you compliant with the Fair Labor Standards Act by storing employee timesheet data for four years on our Homebase Plus, Essentials, and Enterprise plans. That’s well beyond the Department of Labor’s two year storage requirement.

If you’re an existing Homebase user, you can log in to your account and confirm you’re on the right plan, or reach out to our support team for help. Once you’re on the right Homebase plan, there’s nothing else you need to do. We automatically store the records, and you can access them at any time.

But even if you don’t use Homebase, avoid the fines and bad press — store your employee time card data!

With Homebase, we’ll even store time card edit history, which is extremely valuable if the Department of Labor conducts an investigation, but also generally useful for you and your team. You can see when a timesheet was edited, and by whom.

If you aren’t familiar with the FLSA, we’ve put together a quick primer.

What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?

According to the Department of Labor, The Fair Labor Standards Act “establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.”

What businesses are required to follow the FLSA?

Technically, the law only applies to businesses that have sales or receipts exceeding $500,000 (less for retail and certain other businesses) or are engaged in certain interstate commerce activities. You can double-check to make sure your business must comply with the law on the DOL website, but practically speaking, virtually every business does.

How long do I need to keep employee time cards to remain compliant with the FLSA?

According to the Department of Labor, businesses must keep employee time card records for two years: “Records on which wage computations are based should be retained for two years. These include time cards and piecework tickets, wage rate tables, work and time schedules, and records of additions to or deductions from wages.”

You’ll need to keep other records too, generally related to payroll, and for a longer period of time. You can find the full list, along with exceptions, on the DOL website.

There’s also a handy fact sheet on the DOL website that lists the records you need to keep for each employee, along with some samples.

What are the penalties if my business found in violation of the FLSA?

Of course, if there are wage violations, you’ll most likely be required to pay those to the impacted former or current employees. Beyond that, though, there are often penalties, including penalties for not keeping employee time card records for the required two years.

According to the DOL website, “Willful violators may be prosecuted criminally and fined up to $10,000. A second conviction may result in imprisonment.”

It’s absolutely worth protecting yourself and your business against potential FLSA recordkeeping violations! The easiest way to do that is on Homebase Plus, Essentials or Enterprise. If you’re an existing Homebase user, you can log in to your account and confirm you’re on the right plan, or reach out to our support team for help.

Remember this is not official legal advice. If you have any concerns, it’s best to consult an employment lawyer.