Hiring employees comes with great responsibility. Not only is it important to hire people using a fair process and offer them a standard wage, but all employers must also provide their employees with certain documentation that meets federal and state requirements.
It is important to note that these documents must be maintained in a confidential and secure employee file at all times.
Here is a checklist of the four mandatory employee forms that must be furnished to all new hires.
Each company may have a different way of obtaining applications from employees, but it is mandatory that all employees fill out a basic job application for the job advertised. The job application may be in paper format or it may be a digital format accessed through an applicant tracking system. Even if the employee has turned in a resume and cover letter, he or she must fill out an application. This application includes vital information about the employee, including contact information, emergency contact, and a complete career and educational history. Applications must be accepted for all candidates for any advertised position in order to comply with equal employment opportunity laws.
Employee I-9 Form
The US Department of Homeland Security requires that all new hires complete an I-9 identification form to prove their individual identification and if they are a native resident or working under a non-resident Visa. This form must be supplied to each new hire and must be processed within 3 business days. If an employee cannot prove their identity, an offer of employment cannot be made. In some cases, the E-verify system, into which I-9 data is input, cannot verify the identification of a candidate. In this case, the candidate must visit their local Social Security Administration office to obtain a temporary identification number. It is important to note that HR and recruitment professionals should NOT keep copies of any proof of identification with the I-9 form.
W-4 Tax Form
All new hires should also be furnished with a W-4 federal tax form. This must be completed before their first payday. This government form documents the tax deductions and exclusions for each new hire. In some states, a separate state tax form must also be completed. This tax form ensure that all employees are paid the correct amount and have their income taxes assessed accurately.
Employee Policy Handbook
In addition to all the necessary government forms, all new hires should be issued an up-to-date copy of the company’s employee policy handbook. This handbook includes all of the workplace policies, procedures, and bylaws of the company. There should be a sign off sheet within the document that is to be signed and a copy of this placed in the employee’s confidential file. The employee handbook not only protects employees, but it also protects the company by documenting that the employee has been explained and received information about company policies.
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