Employers (not employees) Must Track Hours

Under Massachusetts law, it is the duty of an employer to ensure that accurate records are kept and maintained for each employee as to “the hours worked each day and each week by each employee.” M. G. L. ch. 151, § 15. M. G. L. ch. 151, § 15. Tomei v. Corix Utilities (U.S.) Inc., CIV.A. 07-CV-11928DP, 2009 WL 2982775 (D. Mass. Sept. 14, 2009).
The FLSA requires no specific format of the records, but does require that the records include certain identifying information about the employees wages and hours. The following is a listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain accurately:

Employee’s full name and social security number.
Address, including zip code.
Birth date, if younger than 19.
Sex and occupation.
Time and day of week when employee’s workweek begins.
Hours worked each day.
Total hours worked each workweek.
Basis on which employee’s wages are paid (e.g., “$9 per hour”, “$440 a week”, “piecework”)
Regular hourly pay rate.
Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings.
Total overtime earnings for the workweek.
All additions to or deductions from the employee’s wages.
Total wages paid each pay period.
Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment.

How Long Do Employers Have to Keep Records: Employers must keep all payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, sales and purchase records for at least three years. The records must show what wage computations are based on and should be kept for two years. For example all time cards and piece work tickets, wage rate tables, work and time schedules, and records of additions to or deductions from wages should be kept. These records must be open for inspection by the Division’s representatives, who can request employers to make extensions, computations, and/or transcriptions. These records may be kept at a central records office, or where the employee works.

What About Timekeeping: Employers may use any timekeeping method they choose. There is no specific method or plan that is required. Any timekeeping plan is acceptable as long as it is complete and accurate.

Employees are also entitled to their entire personnel file upon request pursuant to: M.G.L. c. 149 section 52C.