September 2023 Newsletter

Employer Recordkeeping Requirements

Federal laws, such as the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Equal Pay Act, impose recordkeeping duties on employers. Recordkeeping duties include creating, updating and preserving information.
Tennessee law also imposes several recordkeeping requirements on employers in the state. The state law mandates operate in addition to or in conjunction with federal requirements. This Employment Law Summary provides a general overview of state recordkeeping requirements that apply to Tennessee employers in general. Additional state and federal recordkeeping requirements may exist for specific industries.


Employers in Tennessee must make, keep and preserve a separate file for each minor they employ. Each minor’s file must be kept at the place of the minor’s employment and must include:
  • The minor’s employment application;
  • Proof of the minor’s age;
  • The minor’s hours of work (the beginning and ending of each workday for minors between 14 and 17 years of age); and
  • Any records justifying an exception from child labor laws.
Employers must allow the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) to inspect these records during regular working hours. Employers must provide these records to a TDLWD inspector within 30 minutes after the inspector presents his or her credentials and requests to examine the records.


Under the Tennessee Works Act, employers must keep true and accurate payroll records that allow the TDLWD to determine whether an individual is entitled to unemployment benefits. Employer payroll records must indicate the time covered by the record and the hours of work scheduled per day or per week. These records must be maintained for at least seven years. Each employee’s records must include the employee’s:
  • Name;
  • Social Security number;
  • Date of hire, rehire and return to work (if applicable);
  • Date of termination, layoff, resignation, discharge or death (if any);
  • Place of employment within the state;
  • Pay dates and the days covered by each payroll period;
  • Full-time weekly wage or applicable wage rate (hourly or piece rate);
  • Wages paid (total wages and a breakdown of cash wages, bonuses, special payments, gifts, gratuities, tips and the value of any other noncash compensation);
  • Scheduled work hours (except for fixed-scheduled employees); and
  • Numbers of work hours for which he or she received compensation (except for salaried or fixed stipend employees).
If an employee claims partial unemployment benefits, employers must keep sufficient records to allow the TDLWD to determine each claimant’s eligibility for partial benefits.


Under Tennessee’s Workers’ Compensation Law (WCL), employers must keep records of all work-related injuries reported by employees, along with any additional records associated with an employee’s workers' compensation claim.
Employers that self-insure their workers' compensation obligations and employers that have a workers' compensation modification rate of 1.20 greater must establish and administer a safety committee. These employers must also make and maintain adequate records of each committee meeting. Meeting records include a summary of all committee reports, evaluations and recommendations. Meeting records must be kept for at least three years. Meeting records are subject to inspection by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA).


Additional state and federal recordkeeping requirements may apply for specific industries. Consult with Benefits, Inc. for more information about recordkeeping requirements in Tennessee.

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