Can an employer fulfill some Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) recordkeeping requirements by having employees fill out their own timesheets?

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

Because the FLSA does not dictate the form in which records must be kept, some employers prefer to have employees keep track of the hours they work each workday and the total hours they work each workweek by having them fill out their own timesheets and then recognize their accuracy with a signed acknowledgment. Although this practice may satisfy FLSA recordkeeping requirements, it may not always protect an employer. In the event of a lawsuit or a federal investigation, employee-filled timesheets may be disregarded if there is compelling evidence that the employer had reason to believe they were inaccurate - for example, if the employees routinely claimed to work exactly eight hours each day from 9 am to 5 pm.