Federal laws, such as the Federal Insurance Contribution Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act, prescribe the type of employment records employers must create and maintain. Florida law also imposes several recordkeeping requirements on employers. State recordkeeping laws operate in addition to or in conjunction with the federal requirements. This Employment Law Summary provides a general overview of recordkeeping requirements that apply to most employers in Florida under state law. Additional state and federal recordkeeping requirements may exist for specific industries. Consult with state governmental agencies for more information about recordkeeping requirements that may affect your business.
Florida’s unemployment compensation law requires employers to maintain true and accurate business and personnel records for at least five years. These records must be open to inspection and made available for duplication by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
An employer’s records must include the following information about each of its employees:
• Name and Social Security number;
• Place of employment within the state (county);
• Beginning and ending dates for the pay periods when the employee actually worked;
• Compensation statements (pay periods, pay dates, wage rate and either number of hours worked or pieces completed);
• Date of hire, re-hire and return to work;
• Special payments of any kind (bonus, gift, prize) and a reasonable description and cash value of remuneration other than wages; and
• The address of each location where payroll records are maintained.
Employers that employ children must maintain proof of each child’s age. To satisfy this requirement, employers can make a copy of the employee’s birth certificate, driver’s license, age certificate (issued by school district where the child attends school), passport or visa. Employers must keep these records for as long as a minor is employed.
Employers are also required to track and document employee leave, whether paid or unpaid, including military deployment, sick leave, jury duty and any other witness or court proceeding leave.
Employers that knowingly provide incorrect statements, make false representations or fail to disclose a material fact to obtain, increase, decrease or prevent others from collecting unemployment benefits may be charged with a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years of imprisonment (10 years for habitual or violent offenders), a fine of up to $5,000 or both. Each incorrect statement, false representation or failure to disclose is considered a separate offense.
Florida’s workers’ compensation law requires employers to make and keep certain records about each of their employees, along with records of any work-related employee injuries or diseases.
Employers must keep these records open for inspection the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation (FDWC) for at least two years after the calendar year that follows the date the records pertain to. These records must be kept in their original form (paper, film, machine readable electronic material or any other media). However, legible copies of the originals may be considered acceptable substitutes.
The employment records an employer must keep must include the following for each individual whom the employer pays or owes remuneration to (including individuals working under employment appointments, contract-for-hire employees and apprentices):
• Name and Social Security Number, Federal Employer Identification Number or IRS Tax Identification Number;
• Each day, month, and year or pay period when the employer engaged the individual in employment;
• Amount of remuneration paid or owed by the employer for work or service performed by the individual;
• The day, month, and year of work or service and the number of hours worked by the individual during each pay period (if paid on an hourly basis);
• An explanation of how compensation is calculated for the individual (if other than hourly rate);
• All checks or other records provided to the person for salary, wage or earned income;
• All Form 1099 Miscellaneous Income and Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements issued to the individual;
• All written contracts or agreements between the employer and the individual that describe the terms of employment; and
• All employment and unemployment reports filed pursuant to Florida law.
The workers’ compensation law also requires each employer to maintain the following:
• The IRS form that assigns a Federal Employer Identification Number to the employer;
• Records that identify the employer’s business name (including fictitious name registrations);
• Records that identify the business form (corporation, limited liability company or partnership);
• Copies of the employer’s articles of incorporation or organization, occupational licenses, trade licenses or certifications and competency cards;
• Tax records filed with the Internal Revenue Service (with supporting records and schedules);
• Account records, including monthly, quarterly and annual statements for all open or closed business accounts established by the employer or on its behalf with any credit card company or any financial institution;
• Disbursement record, such as a journal of its check and cash disbursements as well as a copy of each cashier's check, bank check and money order, indicating chronologically the disbursement date, to whom the money was paid, the payment amount, and the purpose;
• Subcontractor invoices received from a subcontractor for work or service performed by the subcontractor for the employer;
• Workers' compensation insurance policies and certificates of election to be exempt (as applicable);
• All complete written contracts executed between the employer and a general contractor, subcontractor, independent contractor or employee leasing company (must specify the terms of reimbursement and performance of any work or service while engaged in any employment under any appointment or contract for hire or apprenticeship; and
• Any records that establish the statutory elements of independent contractor classification for each worker who claims to be or who the employer claims to be an independent contractor and not an employee under the workers' compensation law.
Farm labor Contractors
Farm labor contractors must maintain accurate daily field records of each employee that is actually paid. The records must contain the hours each individual worked, the number of units harvested (if paid by unit) and the employee’s wage rate.
This guide is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. It is provided for general informational purposes only. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.
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