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Paycheck Records Q&A

1. What are paycheck records?

A paycheck record is a summary of what was paid to an employee for a set amount of time. The paycheck record often contains a copy of the check. The payment stub in CA needs to show how much sick leave the employee has taken and how much sick time they still have available.

2. What paycheck records are employers required to keep?

Employers are required to keep all records relating to the employee's payroll, timecards, meal, and rest break records.  Companies should keep anything that was used to complete the employee payroll.

3. How long do employers need to keep employee paycheck records?

California legally requires a company to maintain employee records for 3 years, but best practice would be 6 years.

4. Who should be allowed to see employee records?

Employee records need to be secured both digitally and physically.  Only the appropriate people on the HR team should have access to and manage any release or viewing of an employee's records. The people who most commonly have access to employee records are staff in the payroll department and the company CFO.  Companies should have a release process that records who has viewed an employee record, the reason for the access to the record and if any updates or changes were made to the record.  The employee themselves also have the right to access their records and be notified of any changes or requested changes to their record.

5. Please include anything else a small business owner should know about paycheck records.

Make sure that you either hire a payroll company with a good reputation or hire an internal payroll person who you know is an expert in payroll laws, etc.


If you have questions on how to better manage your payroll and mitigate issues, give Optima a call.  We can help!  858.283.1234.

Jilian Dimitt, SHRM, SPHR-SCP
HR Director
Optima Office



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