Employers are generally required under both federal and state law to retain certain types of records relating to their current and former employees. The chart below outlines the general state law requirements for recordkeeping in New York.
|Category||Employer Requirements||Retention Period|
|Wage, Hour, and Payroll Records||Employers must keep weekly payroll records that show the following for each employee:Name, address, and Social Security number;Daily/weekly hours;Rate(s) of pay and basis of payment;Deductions;Allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage; Gross and net wages; Student classification (if applicable); andWhen a piece rate is used, the rate(s) and number of pieces completed at each rate.In addition, for executive, administrative, or professional employees, the employer’s records must show each employee’s:Name, address, and Social Security number;Occupation description; andFor employees in an executive or administrative capacity, total wages, and the value of any allowances for each payroll period.||6 years|
|Unemployment Insurance||The following information must be retained for each employee:Name and Social Security number;Beginning and ending dates of each pay period;Total amount of compensation for each pay period, including value of non-cash remuneration (e.g., board, rent, housing) and tips; andTotal amount of compensation subject to unemployment compensation contributions under state law.||3 years|
Safety and Health/Workers’ Compensation
|The following organizational records must be kept for workers’ compensation:Federal Employer Identification Number;Business name and form (corporation, partnership, e.g.);Articles of incorporation or organization; andCurrent list of officers, partners, or principals of the business.The following employment records must be kept for each employee:Name, Social Security number (or taxpayer identification number);Each day, month, and year or pay period of employment; A description of general duties sufficient to allow classification for workers’ compensation premium purposes;All records provided for salary, wage, or earned income;The value of other remuneration such as meals, tips, or lodging;Federally required annual wage or earnings statements;All written agreements with the employee describing the terms of employment;Tax records filed pursuant to federal and state law.||3 years|
|Records must be kept of any injury or illness incurred by an employee in the course of employment on the appropriate form prescribed by the workers’ compensation board.||18 years|
|Employers must keep a record of the name, address, and Social Security number of each employee who uses or handles a hazardous substance, and which substance was handled by which employee.||40 years|
|Child Labor||Employment certificates must be kept on file for each minor.||Certificates must be returned to minors upon termination of employment.|
Additional requirements and exceptions to the information above may apply, especially for specific industries. For more information, please contact the New York Labor Department.
Please Note: The state laws summaries featured on this site are for general informational purposes only. In addition to state law, certain municipalities may enact legislation that imposes different requirements. State and local laws change frequently and, as such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information featured in the State Laws section. For more detailed information regarding state or local laws, please contact your state labor department or the appropriate local government agency.