Are your files in order? Vigilant maintenance of mandatory and recommended documents are the first line of defense for avoiding lawsuits and liability for systematic noncompliance. California employers continue to learn the hard lessons resulting from the failure to adequately keep time records or monitor off-the-clock activities. Timekeeping errors that occur systematically and continue unchecked can accumulate hundreds of thousands of dollars in liability, not to mention potential penalties and attorneys' fees in defending class action complaints addressing such deficiencies. The failure to keep accurate time records almost certainly is the direct result of an employer's failure to train, retain and monitor effective first line supervisors.

But there are other types of documentation required by California wage-hour regulations beyond simple daily time records, which can occasionally be ignored or overlooked. Here are some of the mandatory documents, which must be produced during a wage-hour audit if requested, or during discovery if you are sued.

  • Make-up time agreements
  • On-duty meal agreements
  • Alternative work week election documents
  • Wage-deduction authorizations
  • Employee handbooks  

This article appeared in the December 22, 2009 issue of the San Diego Daily Transcript.