Labor: Small mistakes mean large potential liability

Monitor payroll records regularly to comply with California’s unique requirements.

As it does with almost every other aspect of employment law, California has unique requirements for payroll recordkeeping. Unlike the Fair Labor Standards Act and the requirements in almost all other states, California’s provision for the imposition of civil penalties can dwarf any statutory damages that might result from violations of the state’s recordkeeping requirements.

These actions can be brought both by the state labor commissioner and by private parties acting as private attorneys general on the behalf of the state. Recent decisions of state and federal courts regarding the application of these civil penalty statutes to all sections of the Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders have further encouraged the plaintiffs’ bar to actively seek out and file class and representative actions for what can only be described as simple, non-injurious “hyper-technical” recordkeeping violations.

All of the above required records must be kept at a central location in California or at the plants or establishments at which the employees are employed in the state. All individually-related records also must be made available to each employee for inspection upon reasonable request.

For how long must records be maintained?

Of Counsel

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Robert Jones

Bob Jones is Of Counsel in the San Francisco office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., where he provides legal representation and...

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