Employers must maintain comprehensive payroll records.1
Either semimonthly or at time of payment, you must give each employee a statement of deductions and the inclusive dates for which he/she is paid. The statement must be in English and in indelible ink or an equivalent form, properly dated.
Employers must maintain a copy of the statement and a record of the deductions on file for at least three years at the place of employment or at a central location within California.
A “copy” can be a duplicate of the itemized statement provided to an employee or a computer-generated record that accurately shows all of the information required by law to be included in the itemized statement.
California law requires you to comply with a written or oral request from a current or former employee to inspect or receive a copy of payroll records within 21 calendar days. You can designate the person to whom the request for payroll records must be addressed.
You must make and provide the copies of payroll records; you cannot require employees to find ways to make the copies themselves.6