How Long Must an Employer Keep Wage Records in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, employers must keep records of their employees’ working hours and wage payments for two years. M.G.L. c. 151, s. 15 states:

Every employer shall keep a true and accurate record of the name, address and occupation of each employee, of the amount paid each pay period to each employee, of the hours worked each day and each week by each employee, and such other information as the commissioner or the attorney general in their discretion shall deem material and necessary. Such records shall be kept on file for at least two years after the entry date of the record[…] An employer shall allow an employee at reasonable times and places to inspect the records kept under this section and pertaining to that employee.

The rule is different for employers with more than 20 employees: these employers must retain personnel records for three, not two, years.

An employer of twenty or more employees shall retain the complete personnel record of an employee as required to be kept under this section without deletions or expungement of information from the date of employment of such employee to a date three years after the termination of employment by the employee with such employer. In any cause of action brought by an employee against such employer […] such employer shall retain any personnel record required to be kept under this section which is relevant to such action until the final disposition thereof.

M.G.L. c. 149, s. 52c.


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