The commissioner of labor and industry (or his or her authorized representative) has the authority to enter any place of employment in the state during office hours to inspect and transcribe books, registers, payrolls, and other records of any employer that in any way relate to wages, hours, and other conditions of employment of any employees. The commissioner may also question employees. The commissioner may investigate wage claims or complaints by an employee against an employer if the failure to pay a wage may violate Minnesota law. In addition, the commissioner may question employees to determine whether the employee is complying with the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MN Stat. Sec. 177.27).
Each employer covered by the Act must maintain for at least 3 years certain employment records, including the name, address, and occupation of each employee, the pay rate and wages paid each pay period to each employee, as well as the hours each employee works each day and workweek (MN Stat. Sec. 177.30).
Employers must provide the commissioner with photocopies of those employment records, certified copies or, if the commissioner desires, the original records (MN Stat. Sec. 177.27). The commissioner may fine the employer up to $1,000 for each failure to submit or deliver the requested records. In determining the amount of a civil penalty, the size of the employer’s business and the gravity of the violation will be considered.