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New hire paperwork checklist
Before a new hire’s first day at work, you need to prepare a series of forms and agreements to properly onboard them. Some of these documents are required by labor law, while others are optional.
A few thing to keep in mind:
- Check your local labor regulations to ensure you comply with the law at all times.
- Once you collect signed agreements from new employees, securely store these documents (in digital or physical form) as they contain confidential data.
Use this new hire paperwork checklist as a guide when you’re onboarding new employees:
- Job information (job title, department)
- Work schedule
- Length of employment
- Compensation and benefits
- Employee responsibilities
- Termination conditions
- W-4 form (or W-9 for contractors)
- I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form
- State Tax Withholding form
- Direct Deposit form
- E-Verify system : This is not a form, but a way to verify employee eligibility in the U.S.
- Non-compete agreements
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Employee invention forms
- Employee handbook acknowledgement forms
- Drug and/or alcohol test consent agreements
- Job analysis forms (responsibilities, goals and performance evaluation criteria)
- Employee equipment inventory lists
- Confidentiality and security agreements
- Life and health insurance
- Mobile plan
- Company car
- Stock options
- Retirement plan
- Disability insurance
- Paid time off/vacation policies (including any paid holidays)
- Employee wellness perks (e.g. gym memberships)
- Tuition reimbursement
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- Emergency contacts
- Brief medical history
- Food allergies or preferences (e.g. vegan or gluten-free)
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- The Ultimate New Employee Paperwork Checklist
- November 2, 2021
- All Posts , HR Best Practices , Onboarding
» The Ultimate New Employee Paperwork Checklist
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They say the only two sure things in life are death and taxes but we’ll happily throw a third guarantee into the mix. New employee paperwork happens like clockwork, no matter where you’re hired. To legally work in a country like the United States, there are certain documents that must be signed and maintained while you’re employed. While it’s a hassle, new employee paperwork isn’t going anywhere. So to avoid any mistakes, let’s make sure you have a clear understanding of everything you need to know about new employee paperwork.
To make it even easier, consider using an HR software like Eddy that can organize and digitize all of your onboarding paperwork in a matter of minutes. Request a demo today to see how Eddy can save you hours a week per hire.
What is New Employee Paperwork?
New employee paperwork consists of the documents, forms, and agreements that an employee signs before or while they’re working for a company. While some employee documents are standard and must be completed by all employees regardless of industry or position, other documents will be unique to the company.
Here is a list of common documents new employees will need to complete:
Federal and state paperwork.
- State Tax Withholding Form
- Direct Deposit Form
- Offer Letter
- Background Check
- Employment Agreement
- Non-Compete Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- New Hire Questionnaire
- Non-Disclosure Agreement
- Drug/Alcohol Test Agreement
- Performance Evaluations
- Emergency Contact Information
- Union Agreements
- Health Insurance Forms
- Stock Options Agreement
- Other Benefit Agreements
The Employee Must Provide
- Visas / Green Cards
- Social Security Card
- Birth Certificate
Why Do Employees Need to Complete the Paperwork?
Employment is regulated by the government. In order to ensure that businesses are hiring people who are legally eligible to work, and to ensure that employees are paying into the tax system, government officials have created documents that must be signed and agreed upon by both parties.
Of course, the specific paperwork will vary depending on the country you live in and the employer you work for, but the fact remains that employees will always have some documents to complete. This article will specifically look at new employee paperwork in the United States of America and will highlight the most common documents and forms. This article is not intended to be completely exhaustive.
In the United States, there are two documents that nearly every new employee will need to complete before they begin working. These documents are the Form I-9 and the Form W-4 . In addition to these documents, most new employees will also complete a direct deposit form so that their paychecks can be properly routed.
Form I-9 : The I-9 form is meant to verify employment eligibility based on identity and legal working status. On the US government website , they state clearly that “all U.S. employers must properly complete Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens.”
An I-9 includes fields that must be completed by the employee and the employer. To comply with the legal requirements, the I-9 must be completed (by both the employee and employer) within three business days of the new employee’s start date.
While the I-9 is not submitted directly to a government entity after its completion, there is a legal requirement for the employer to maintain the file throughout the employee’s tenure. Additionally, employers are required to maintain the I-9 form for three years after the employee’s hire date OR 1 year after the employee’s termination date, whichever is later.
Form W-4 : The W-4 form is a tax form that specifies how much to withhold from each paycheck for federal income tax purposes. All employees (whether they be full-time or part-time) should complete a W-4 in order to have their taxes withheld appropriately.
Like the I-9 form, the W-4 form does not need to be submitted to a government agency or entity. However, the information on the form will prove vital to the payroll department of the company. The payroll department must have the W-4 information in order to make the proper tax withholding calculations for each check delivered to the employee.
State Tax Withholding Form : Depending on the state in which your business operates, you may need employees to sign an additional state tax withholding form. These are often referred to as a State W-4.
As of this writing, the following states have separate tax forms for state withholdings: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The following states do not collect state income tax and therefore do not require state W-4 tax forms: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wyoming.
The remaining states allow the federal W-4 form to be used as the State W-4.
Eddy automates the new hire paperwork process, saving you time, money, and effort.
Unlike the federal and state documents, these company documents are not government requirements, nor are they issued by a government entity. They are, however, definitely recommended in order to ensure a smooth transition for your employee and to avoid any unnecessary confusion or miscommunication.
Direct Deposit Form : Unlike the other forms mentioned in this section, the direct deposit form isn’t a government requirement, nor is it a specific form issued by a government entity. However, if employees wish to have their paychecks deposited directly into their bank account (or, if they so desire, they can have the money deposited into multiple accounts) then they’ll need to complete this form.
This form, once completed, should be submitted to the payroll department or service provider.
Offer Letter : The offer letter is typically sent to a new employee before they are hired. The offer letter will contain details about the offer being made to the employee regarding future employment at the company. The offer will typically include information about salary, signing bonuses , and more. Contrary to popular belief, the offer letter is not a legally binding document (in most instances). Because the vast majority of states allow companies to operate as at-will employers, the company does not have legal obligations to employ the person who accepted their offer.
Background Check : A company may ask an employee to complete paperwork or submit information so that a background check can be conducted. While not required for every position or profession, there are a handful of industries that require background checks to be completed before an employee is eligible to work.
Employment Agreement : An employment agreement is different than an offer letter in that it is more formal. Commonly, companies will create a general offer letter template that is sent to every new employee that joins the team. The employment contract is then more specific to the employee’s role and what each side is agreeing to. This contract should clearly state the terms and conditions of the position and can be legally binding.
Non-Compete Agreement : A non-compete agreement is a document that a company may have an employee sign which will prohibit the employee from working for a competitor (or starting a competing firm) for a certain period of time after their employment with the current firm is terminated. A typical non-compete agreement will specify the period of time (typically starting with the day the employee is no longer employed at the company) during which an employee is barred from working in a competitive way against their current employer.
Non-Disclosure Agreement : A non-disclosure agreement (also commonly referred to as an NDA) is a legal contract between the employee and employer that prohibits the employee from disclosing confidential information. NDAs are common in business settings as employers often prevent employees from sharing company insights, trade secrets, intellectual property, and other sensitive information.
Employee Handbook : The employee handbook will commonly contain information regarding the employer’s policies, codes of conduct, expected behaviors, compensation, and benefits. It’s possible that some of the documents mentioned in this section are found in the employee handbook. Employers will have employees sign an employee handbook to acknowledge they understand the policies and rules of the company.
New Hire Questionnaire : New hire questionnaires are a list of questions to ask your employee on their first day to get to know them better. Typically these questions will focus on things like their work ethic, goals, preferences, etc. These surveys are very easy to create and customize. For more information on how new hire questionnaires can benefit your employees plus some sample questions, check out this HR Encyclopedia entry !
Drug/Alcohol Test Agreement : A company may ask employees to submit to the occasional random drug or alcohol test. If this is the case, the employer will have their employees sign an agreement in which they agree to participate in this sort of testing.
Performance Evaluations : This type of form will not typically be completed by a new hire before employment has begun, but may be a recurring form that is used to evaluate performance throughout the employee’s lifecycle with the company. When formal performance evaluations are completed, some employers have employees sign off on what was discussed and agreed upon so as to keep a record of the conversation.
Emergency Contact Information : Your emergency contact form should be included in whatever other onboarding documents you have prepared. Your employee should provide the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least two people you could contact in case of an emergency.
Union Agreements : It’s possible that the employees in your firm or industry belong to unions. In this case, there will be union agreements that must be signed and agreed upon. Employees will want to understand how the union functions, their rights within the union, and the dues that will be required of them.
Health Insurance Forms : If your company offers health insurance, then your new employees will need to complete a form to get enrolled. Health insurance coverage is critical to most employees. Work with your insurance provider to get new employees the coverage they need.
Stock Options Agreement : As part of their compensation package, some employees will negotiate to have stock options or ownership within the company. If your company operates in a way where stock is regularly offered to new employees, you’ll want to have a legally binding form that outlines the stock option agreement and specifies things such as vesting schedules and strike prices.
Other Benefit Agreements : A company may offer a whole assortment of benefits that require certain forms or documents to be signed. If your company offers benefits such as the use of a company vehicle or cell phone, gym access, wellness perks, commuter benefits, 401k matching, tuition reimbursement, or any other benefits similar to these, you should have specific paperwork drawn up for each benefit.
What the Employee Must Provide
For you to complete your onboarding paperwork, new employees need to bring some important documentation with them. There are a few options of what that documentation can look like, so it’s good to be educated about what employees can and can’t bring.
State ID: In order to prove the identity of your new employee, they will need to provide an authorized form of identification. They can either bring in a state issued driver’s license (or identity card) or their social security card combined with their passport. Passports can expire and are still valid.
Visas / Green Cards: Those who have immigrated to the United States and don’t have a State ID will need to bring either a work visa or green card with them to prove their ability to work.
Social Security Card: According to the IRS, you are allowed to ask to see your new hire’s social security card in order to fill out their W-2 for payroll purposes. If your employee doesn’t have a social security card, they will need to contact the Social Security Administration to obtain a new one.
Birth Certificate: Birth certificates can be used as a form of ID but must be paired with another government issued ID that contains a photograph of them to be used.
Tips for Creating Your Own Checklist
Other than the state and federal documents, you are able to create and customize your own onboarding process for your new hires to complete. Each position will require different forms and information, so we recommend creating your own checklist.
Understand the Position
It’s important to first understand the position this employee will be fulfilling. You’ll need to know who they’ll report to, if anyone will report to them, if they’ll be given important information that needs to be protected, any potential safety hazards or risks they’ll be exposed to, etc. Once you have this information sorted, you’ll be able to easily create a checklist of things this new employee will need on their first day.
Working with physical papers for this checklist creates unending opportunities for the information to get lost. Plus, it requires you to do all the grunt work of reading through them all and making sure everything was filled out correctly. Why use such an antiquated process when digital options are available? Eddy has a simple, easy-to-use platform that allows you to do your entire onboarding process online. This way, you can easily organize the employee’s to-do list, watch their progress, and store their documents in a safe place.
Onboarding Beyond the Paperwork
Onboarding an employee doesn’t end with the paperwork. Sending a welcome letter , getting them set up with IT , assigning an onboarding buddy , and preparing their workspace are also important aspects of the onboarding process.
We’ll Deal With the Paperwork so You Don’t Have To
New employee paperwork has been around since the beginning of commerce and will continue until the end of time. A major part of onboarding a new employee will be the time they take to sign all their documents.
Software solutions like Eddy are creating processes and workflows that make this work easy. Eddy has electronic signature workflows that plug right into the onboarding process, making document signing and document storage a breeze.
As your business continues to grow, you’ll have more and more new employee paperwork to keep track of. If the process of signing, storing, or creating these documents ever gets overly burdensome or messy, feel to reach out and get a demo today . We’d love to help you get your new employee paperwork managed properly.
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As a small business owner, you’re no stranger to long to-do lists. This is especially true if you’ve begun hiring, which generates a lot of employee paperwork.
But if you’re like most startups, there’s no room in the budget for an administrative assistant, never mind an HR specialist. How do you get ahead of this issue when you’re in charge? What’s the best approach to tackling employee recordkeeping as your business and staff grow?
Here are some guidelines for setting up an efficient and compliant recordkeeping system for your business.
Paper or electronic.
Many businesses start out with a paper-based recordkeeping system. This can make sense when you have just a couple of employees, but eventually, it can become cumbersome. For most growing businesses, electronic documents are easier and less costly to maintain, organize and store. Plus, when records are stored “in the cloud” (online), you can access them anywhere, any time you have Internet access.
Whether you use paper, electronic files, or both, consistency is the key to effective recordkeeping. For example, if your hiring records are sorted by employee name, organize payroll records the same way. Keep the same system across all types of records, and make sure your file folders have accurate, uniform names.
Set Up Your Essential Employee Records
In most cases, you’ll need to maintain three types of employee records: personnel, payroll, and medical files.
Personnel files cover employment history and should include hiring documents, employee and emergency contact information, and a signed acknowledgment of your company’s employee handbook. Over time, you can add performance reviews, disciplinary forms, employee awards, training records, and termination letters.
Don’t keep I-9 forms (used to verify employment eligibility in the U.S.) in the personnel file. Store these forms all together in a separate file. If your business is selected for an immigration-related audit or investigation, the investigator will ask to inspect these forms. Keeping these records separate helps to protect the privacy of your employees and reduces the risk of exposing your business to additional employment investigations.
Documents related to salary, benefits, and financial awards should be filed under payroll. Examples include timesheets, direct deposit information, and W-4 and W-2 forms.
The medical file should include application forms for health, life insurance, and other employee benefits if you offer them. Other possible medical records include requests for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), injury reports required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and paperwork concerning employee leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) should those laws apply to your business.
Know What to Keep and for How Long
Federal employment laws specify how long you must keep certain employee records. It’s important to adhere to those timeframes to avoid penalties. At the same time, holding on to documents longer than necessary (instead of discarding them) isn’t recommended, as any retained records could still be used against you in the event of a lawsuit.
Below is a list of required employee records and the retention periods mandated by federal law:
- Resumes, job applications, and hiring tests – 1 year (no requirement for unsolicited resumes)
- Form I-9 – 3 years from the date of hire or 1 year after termination (whichever is later)
- Payroll documentation, including wage and promotion information and timekeeping records – 3 to 4 years for most documentation
- W-4s – 4 years after taxes due or paid
- Performance reviews – 2 years
- Physical exam results – 1 year after action is taken based on physical exams
- Drug test results – Most recent year’s report on file for one year
- Request for reasonable accommodation – 1 year after action taken or document created, whichever is later
- Benefit plans – 1 year after termination of the plan
- FMLA documentation – 3 years after leave ends
- Termination records – 1 year from the termination date
Maintaining an effective recordkeeping system is challenging when you don’t have dedicated administrative personnel on staff. But with proper planning and follow-through, you can get organized and meet the legal requirements.
ComplyRight creates practical products and services to help small businesses complete essential HR and tax reporting tasks in an efficient and legally sound manner. From hiring to firing, to mandatory employee postings, to 1099 and W-2 processing, our solutions are guaranteed to be 100% compliant with federal and state (and in some cases, local) employment laws. Our direct brands include HRdirectapps.com (simple and smart online HR software), PosterTracker.com (complete range of ComplyRight posting solutions), efile4biz.com (online 1099, W-2 and ACA form processing), and HRdirect.com (leading provider of ComplyRight HR products).
Employee Recordkeeping Checklist The U.S. Department of Labor requires you to keep records of the following information about each employee as long as he or she works for you. Download this checklist to help you maintain the proper employee records.
HR Compliance Check: 3 Quick Self-Audit Tips Staying on top of changing HR regulations is challenging. Here are three specific HR areas you should include in your audit based on recent trends.
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Human Resources | How To
Personnel File: Employee Documents to Include (+ Free Checklists)
WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Hartman
Published January 25, 2023
Jennifer Hartman is an HR Specialist and staff writer for Fit Small Business, with over 15 years of experience in accounting , payroll, and human resources .
This article is part of a larger series on How to Do Payroll .
- 1 What to Keep in a Personnel File
- 2 What Not to Keep in Personnel Files
- 3 How to Set Up Employee Personnel Files
- 4 Federal & State Laws About Personnel Files
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 Bottom Line
A personnel file is a paper or electronic folder that contains HR and payroll documents related to new, existing, or past employees. The documents within an employee personnel file should cover the entire employment lifecycle, from offer letters and W-4 forms to performance reviews and termination paperwork. It should also include basic employee documents and compensation information in compliance with federal and state labor laws.
Download our free checklists to help you keep track of what employee personnel file records to store; they can be edited to add documents specific to your company. Then, continue reading for more specific information on what to include and not include in a secure personnel file.
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Employee Personnel File Checklist
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Personnel File Audit Checklist
For help setting up a hiring process, follow our guide to hiring new employees .
What to Keep in a Personnel File
An employee personnel file includes legal documents, company documents, and employee documents. These should all be kept in an individual employee file in a secure location.
- Legal Documents
- Company Documents
- Employee Documents
There are several employee-related HR and payroll documents that every personnel file must contain. These include legal employment records—such as payroll tax forms and employee-employer agreements.
The legal documents that every employee personnel file must have are:
- IRS tax withholding forms: W-4s and/or W-9s
- Payroll and compensation information: Any paycheck or pay card data
- Contracts or agreements: Non-compete agreement , an employment contract , or an agreement relating to a company-provided car or business credit card
- Employee benefits forms: Medical enrollment forms and beneficiary agreements, retirement forms ( 401(k) ), FSA agreements, HSA agreements, etc.
- Child support documents: Any legal or litigation documents
- Workers’ compensation: Documentation of claims filed
- Termination documents: Documented reasons why the worker was terminated , unemployment documents, insurance continuation forms (COBRA), etc.
For a full list of payroll forms you may need or if you have more general questions about payroll, take a look at our guide on employer payroll forms or our how to do payroll article.
Company and policy documents should be included in an employee’s personnel file so they can be easily accessed by the employee’s manager, payroll team, or employee, if needed. While not required, these company documents (such as signed policies) are good to keep on file.
These should show when the employee acknowledged or signed certain policy documents in case of legal issues:
- Offer letter or employment agreement
- Signed Employee handbook
- Job description for the position
- Signed PTO policy , plus leave of absence, sick time*, and vacation time records
- Signed Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
- Signed Sexual harassment policy
*In some states, employers are required to maintain sick time off records. If they’re not stored electronically within your payroll system, it’s a good idea to keep them in the employee’s personnel folder.
While you don’t have to keep every document in an employee personnel file, it is a good practice to keep documents that are collected upon hiring, such as a resume or job application. Additionally, any written performance documents (such as goal-setting records or disciplinary actions) can be kept in a personnel file.
- Basic employee information form: Name, address, phone number, and emergency contact details
- Job application , if applicable
- Performance evaluations, including awards or citations for excellent performance
- Warnings and other disciplinary actions , including summaries of customer or employee feedback and notes on attendance
- Educational transcripts: For example, if you use a learning management system (LMS) or online training portal, your employees’ training and certifications will likely be stored electronically.
- Goal-setting records: If you use performance management software , your employee goal-setting documents will likely be stored electronically.
NOTE: Items such as background checks and drug test results are confidential documents and should be kept in a separate file from all employee personnel documents.
To safeguard personnel files and other employee documents, companies can use an employee management platform like Rippling. With it, all people operations are done in one place—from onboarding to offboarding, including document management. You can manage and automate employee data and operations easily to ensure compliance.
What Not to Keep in Personnel Files
There are also documents that you should not include in the employee’s personnel folder, primarily because of confidentiality. These include the following:
- Pre-employment records, except for the application
- Monthly attendance records
- Anything related to worker eligibility, such as I-9 forms , copies of driver’s licenses, and social security cards. Consider putting these forms and related documents that verify an employee’s right to work in the US into a separate folder.
- Equal Employment Opportunity ( EEO ) records. We suggest that you keep this documentation separate from the employee’s personnel folder; managers should not have access to view this data for the risk of discriminating against an employee in a protected class.
- Private documents protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ( HIPAA ), also referred to as health information privacy.
- Any other medical information; if you have staff who have given you doctor’s notes or other documentation such as for medical leave, for example, keep these documents separate.
- Private employee data—such as bank account details, Social Security numbers, or immigration documents—are best stored separately from the personnel folder.
How to Set Up Employee Personnel Files
Business owners don’t always realize the importance of setting up personnel files until they’re audited or served with a lawsuit. If you are operating in hindsight and nervous about getting everything set up for employees that already exist, don’t stress. Use the two checklists we’ve provided above, along with the steps for you to get your employee file folders set up and in order.
You should complete the following for organizing and storing personnel records to ensure compliance and security:
Step 1: Take Inventory
First, you need to take an inventory of what you already have for each employee. Be sure to take into account the documents that you already have and what you need from each employee. Use an employee personnel file checklist to make sure everything is in order. Each person might require their own list.
It would also be best if you audit files periodically to make sure every piece of information is up-to-date and accurate. Use a personnel file audit checklist to help keep track of what you’ve received. Ideally, you should create a personnel file for each employee on the date of hire. However, if you forget to do so, you can find documents—like employee resumes, performance reviews, and tax forms—in your email or online storage. Make sure you also have I-9s for each employee as well, but they should be kept in a separate file.
Step 2: Request Items You Need to Complete Each Personnel File
If there are documents on your list that you cannot find in your files, you can request these documents from your employees. Give each employee their individual checklist to show what they need to submit to update their personnel file. Set a due date for all employee documents to be in and complete. Be sure to review each employee’s list with them present so that if anything was not submitted, you can address it right away.
Follow up with each employee you requested additional documents from before the deadline so that everyone has time to submit the missing documents. Then, store your documents online, on your computer network, or in a locked file cabinet.
Step 3: Store Documents
You will want to store your personnel documents in a file folder marked specifically for each employee by name. We recommend that you keep employee personnel files in a locked cabinet to safeguard confidential employee information from unauthorized personnel. Access to employee files should be limited to an authorized individual or department whose permission is needed to view the files, such as HR.
Documents can also be stored online with an encrypted service. Rippling provides secure online document storage, including copies of employee contracts, policies, and a copy of your employee handbook.
With Rippling, you can store employee personnel files directly in the system under each individual employee.
Step 4: Establish a Regular Personnel File Audit
Schedule a periodic review of each employee’s personnel file. This can be done when you conduct their annual evaluation . Ensure that the files are accurate, up-to-date, and complete. If not, you can ask the employee to provide you with the updated files or information. Your business should verify that files are in order prior to any audits, such as payroll or labor.
Please note, personnel files can be viewed during a government audit or subpoenaed in the event of a wrongful termination lawsuit. Maintaining accurate, up-to-date files will help you avoid liability.
Follow our onboarding guide to learn how some of the personnel file documents will be used upon hire.
Federal & State Laws About Personnel Files
Being compliant with federal and state law is an important aspect of being an employer because you’re required to maintain employee data and personnel files. Here are the best practices, as well as what is required, at the federal and state levels.
- Federal Law
Federal labor laws apply to all employers covered by federal anti-discrimination laws, which is typically any employer with 15 or more full-time employees. However, the following laws apply to all businesses, and each agency has its own document retention requirements and guidelines.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ( EEOC ) requires that employers keep all personnel or employment records for one year. If an employee is fired, their personnel records must be retained for one year from the date of termination.
- Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ( ADEA ), employers must keep payroll records for three years. Additionally, employers must keep on file any employee benefit plan (such as pension and insurance plans) and any written seniority or merit system for the full period the plan or system is in effect and for at least one year after its termination.
- Under the Fair Labor Standards Act ( FLSA ), employers must keep payroll records for at least three years. Also, employers must keep for at least two years all records that explain the basis for paying different wages to employees of all genders in the same establishment (including pay rates, performance reviews, seniority and merit systems, and collective bargaining agreements).
You can find more on the required documentation by reading our article on payroll compliance .
State laws on personnel files revolve around whether or not an employee has a right to look at their personnel file. Many states have a provision that allows employees to request copies of documents in their files. In other states, employees may have to file a lawsuit to see their personnel file.
Right to View States
The following states allow employees to see some or all of the documents in their personnel folder; many states are quite specific about what exactly employees are allowed to view. Others allow the employer to charge reasonable fees for document copies. For example, in Arizona, payroll records can only be viewed.
Please see your state’s Department of Labor ( DOL ) website for more specific details.
Current “right to view personnel file” states include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Personnel File Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why would an employee request their personnel file.
In states that require an employer to let their employees view their files, some may just want to see what is in them—what personal information the company has on file and/or any disciplinary action notices. Former employees may also request their personnel files to see what information may be passed to their new employers, or if they intend to bring a lawsuit against their former employer.
Is there a free option for storing employee personnel files online?
If you no longer want to have a filing cabinet full of papers, you can easily convert your employee personnel files to electronic storage, such as through Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Or, you can use a free HR software solution where you can create custom fields for employee profiles and store employee records.
Maintaining personnel files is an important part of being an employer and protecting yourself from liability. It’s a great way to organize employee data and provides support for human resource decisions. You can choose to manage the employee personnel files electronically or use a paper-based system; either way, it’s important to include basic employee reports and adhere to the appropriate federal and state laws.
About the Author
Find Jennifer On LinkedIn
Jennifer Hartman has more than 20 years of writing and content experience, working with small businesses and Fortune 100 companies. For over a decade, Jennifer worked as an HR generalist, providing expertise in accounting, payroll, and HR by implementing payroll and benefits best practices and creating onboarding and employee-relations documentation.
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1.1 In the ordinary course of providing services to its clients, CIC Plus receives personal information from its clients about their current and former employees. The type of information we receive varies according to the specific services we provide.
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Glassdoor for Employers › Blog › Hiring & Recruiting › Forms and Paperwork Needed to Hire an Employee
Forms and Paperwork Needed to Hire an Employee
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By Glassdoor Team July 28, 2021
U.S. businesses have access to one of the largest talent pools in the world. But even so, there are state and federal employment requirements that can complicate the hiring process.
Luckily, we've unraveled the process and presented you with some guidelines and forms you'll likely need to give to each new hire to ensure you're meeting state and federal requirements.
Forms and Paperwork you may Need to Hire Employees
It's an employer's job to provide new hires with the forms they need before they receive their first paycheck. These forms must be completed by every employee - without exception.
After employees complete the necessary paperwork, make sure to keep them stored in a secure location in case the U.S Department of Labor requests the records. You may also need the paperwork if you're audited by state or local agencies.
Related: The New Hire Onboarding Checklist
Form W-4 for Federal Income Tax Withholding
All new hires must complete Form W-4 , a form that collects personal information such as the employee's number of dependents and marital status, and is used to calculate withholding for federal income taxes. Form W-4 was updated in 2021. While there are older versions available, you should use the 2021 Form-W-4 (or the most recent version if you're reading in the future) to ensure withholdings from new employees are accurate.
It's also important to know that employees are able to change their Form W-4 as frequently as they'd like. It is your responsibility as the employer to manage and keep track of the changes to make sure employee paychecks reflect the changes they've made.
Every employer who pays remuneration, including non-cash payments above a certain threshold for the year for services performed by an employee must file a Form W-2 for each employee - even if the employee is related to the employer - from whom:
- Income, social security, or Medicare tax was withheld.
- Income tax would have been withheld if the employee had claimed no more than one withholding allowance or had not claimed exemption from withholding on Form W-4.
You can find a copy of Form W-2 for download here (or at the IRS's website for their most recent versions of forms).
Form I-9 Employee Eligibility Form
Form I-9 documents verify that employees are eligible to work in the U.S. This form must be completed by every new hire. Plus, you'll need to review and photocopy some form (or combination of forms) of legal identification - such as a passport or state identification - to keep on file along with the form.
There are two steps involved in completing the I-9 form:
- The employee fills out the I-9 Form.
- You review and confirm that the documents provided are adequate and accurate.
You are not required to submit the form. However, if an immigration officer visits your company, you must have these documents completed and verified, so keep them in a safe place.
Need help verifying an employee's eligibility. The E-Verify system is a government tool that uses the information from Form I-9 to confirm that an employee is eligible to work in the U.S.
Job Application Form
Requiring applicants to fill out a job application form ensures that your company is protected from applicants who make fraudulent claims. In this form, request information regarding education, previous jobs, contacts for background/reference checks , and more. Also, ask them to complete a series of statements verifying the information provided is true and correct.
State Withholding and Registration
This registration is designed to help your state collect child support payments from employees. However, regulations vary by state. So, be sure to contact your state department - or visit your state's government website - to determine what information needs to be collected.
Other State Regulations
Different states have different regulations. For example, California has one of the strictest set of requirements for hiring employees. In California , employees are required to fill out additional forms for health insurance, workers compensation, disability, sexual harassment, and more.
Look into what forms may be required in your state, and ensure you give them to new hires.
An employee handbook is an important document: It ensures that employees are aware of the various company policies and procedures. If you don't have one, you should create one.
All new employees should receive an employee handbook, and be required to sign that they have read and understand your company's policies. By doing this, you can mitigate potential lawsuits and help prevent employees from becoming toxic to your workplace.
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Pay Stub Law 2021
Understanding pay stubs with IRIS FMP
Pay stubs, or paycheck stubs, are written statements documenting details of the employee’s wages during a set pay period or schedule. An employer’s obligations surrounding pay stubs will differ from state to state. That means ensuring that you are compliant can seem complicated, but as international payroll specialists we are here to guide you through the pay stub laws for 2021.
Do employers have to provide pay stubs?
There is no federal law that requires employers to provide employees with pay stubs. In legislation, pay stub law falls under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Beyond that, employers are subject to state legislation and compliance.
For businesses who employ staff across state lines, running the payroll compliantly can be a challenge, due to the various rules and pay stub requirements by state.
This guide will help you identify whether you are operating in an “access state”, an “access/print” state or something altogether different. But first, we’ll start at the federal level, as these rules apply to all US businesses.
Federal Payroll Law
What is the fair labor standards act.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments.
When it comes to pay stubs, we’re concerned with the record-keeping aspect of this Act. Because, while the FLSA requires that employers keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid, this doesn’t mean employees don’t have a right to see their wages information.
How long do employers need to keep employee information?
Under the FLSA, employers need to keep records for at least three years. This includes payroll information, collective bargaining agreements, sales and purchase records. The records may be kept at the place of employment or in a central records office.
Records on which wage calculations are based (time cards, schedules, records of wage additions/deductions) should be retained for two years. These records must be open for inspection by the Department of Labor’s representatives, who may ask the employer to make extensions, computations, or transcriptions.
Who is affected by the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The FLSA applies to employers with annual sales equal to $500,000 or more, or who are engaged in interstate commerce. This may sound restrictive, but the FLSA covers almost 90% of US workplaces.
Every employer covered by the FLSA must keep certain records for each non-exempt worker. The Act requires no particular form for the records, but does require that the records include certain identifying information about each employee, as well as data about the hours worked and the wages earned.
The FLSA requires this information to be accurate. Basic records that an employer must maintain include:
- Employee’s full name and social security number
- Address, including zip code
- Birth date, if younger than 19
- Sex and occupation
- Time and day of week when employee’s workweek begins
- Hours worked each day
- Total hours worked each workweek
- Basis on which employee’s wages are paid (e.g., “$9 per hour”, “$440 a week”, “piecework”)
- Regular hourly pay rate
- Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings
- Total overtime earnings for the workweek
- All additions to or deductions from the employee’s wages
- Total wages paid each pay period
- Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment
State Pay Stub Laws
While there is no federal law pertaining to providing pay stubs , most states have their own laws requiring employers to provide access to them. Broadly speaking, when it comes to pay stub requirements, there are three types of state:
- States with no requirements
- Access/print States
If you’re operating in a state like Georgia and Florida, who don’t have their own requirements, you don’t have to provide any kind of paycheck stub.
States like New York and Illinois require you to provide some type of stub, either electronic or paper.
Finally, there are access/print states, like California and Texas. These states allow you to provide either an electronic or paper stub, but employees who get electronic stubs must have an easy way to print or access them.
To determine your state’s pay stub legislation , you also need to figure out whether you’re in an “opt-in” or “opt-out” state:
- In opt-out states, businesses must get employees’ consent before changing the way they deliver paycheck stubs. They must adhere to the previous method if an employee prefers it.
- In opt-in states, employers must offer paper stubs unless an employee chooses to get the stub electronically
What information is required on a pay stub?
The information you are required to provide on a pay stub depends on the employment laws in your state and your industry. However, here’s an example of what a paycheck stub in Pennsylvania must include, according to PA Admin Code 34:231.36 :
- Hours worked
- Gross wages
- Allowances (if any) claimed as part of the minimum wage
This will, of course, vary from state to state and by industry. The best thing to do is to consult your payroll provider to ensure your pay stubs are compliant with local, state and federal laws.
Cost of Non-Compliance
Consequences and costs of non-compliance vary, depending on local law. But it’s best to avoid a Department of Labor (DOL) audit. For example, in New York, employees who do not receive proper pay stubs can be entitled to recover damages of up to $250 per violation, up to $5,000 per employee.
Even if an employer isn’t required to provide employees with pay stubs, should an employee request access, it’s good practice to allow them to review their records.
Pay Stub Requirements by State – 2021
No requirement states.
The following states do not require employers to provide a statement that details an employee’s pay information. An employer may choose to deliver a pay stub in an electronic format, but they don’t have to.
- South Dakota
The following states require employers to provide employees with access to a statement that details their pay information. It is not required that the pay statement be a physical copy. An employer can comply with the pay stub requirements in these states by providing an electronic pay stub that employees have access to.
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
As of 1 st January 2021, law SB2328 enables employees in New York to opt for an electronic confirmation in lieu of paper pay stubs.
These states require employers to provide a written or printed pay statement that details the employee’s pay information. The pay stubs are not required to be delivered with the paycheck every month. If they use electronic pay stubs, employers must ensure their employees have the capability of printing the electronic statements.
- North Carolina
When the state adopts a specific method of delivery (such as on the paycheck or pay envelope), electronic delivery requires employee consent. If an employer in one of these states rolls out a paperless pay program to all employees, they must be allowed to opt out to begin receiving their paper pay stub once again.
Currently, the state of Hawaii is the only state that requires employee consent prior to the implementation of an electronic paperless pay system. Employers in Hawaii must provide a written or printed pay statement with details of the employee’s pay information unless the employee agrees to receive their pay statement electronically.
Learn more about payroll in the US .
Ensuring Payroll Compliance
The best way to ensure country-wide compliance no matter what is to choose a payroll provider that specializes in delivering an effective and accurate service. As a provider of award-winning international payroll , IRIS FMP is used to navigating the complexities of multiple compliance.
When should I receive my pay stub?
In the US, Federal law does not require employers to pay between specific intervals (for instance, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly), however, state laws might. The Fair Labor Standards Act says that employers must pay their workers “promptly.” Though unspecific, it is generally understood that pay should be received as soon after the most recent pay period as possible.
Should my pay stub be paper or electronic?
This depends on the state where the employment is based. As presented above, if you are in one of the eleven states that require employers to provide printed statements, then your pay stub will be delivered in printed form. It most of these ‘Printed’ states, employers are allowed to provide these electronically, as long as they are printable.
If in one of the ‘Access’ states, employers must provide employees with access to a pay statement, however, this does not need to be printed. And finally, if you are in a ‘No Requirement’ state, then employers are not required to give you a pay stub at all.
What deductions can employers make on pay stubs?
Your employer will withhold a certain amount from your pay for taxes and items dictated by FICA, such as Federal Income tax and Social Security contributions. Employers can make deductions from your pay stub that are either:
- legally authorized
- voluntarily authorized by the employee for themselves
Legally authorized payments include things like meals, housing, transportation, debts owed to the employer, child support and alimony. Voluntarily authorized deductions can be things like charitable contributions or insurance and can be made even if the employee’s pay falls below minimum wage after deduction.
Employers cannot deduct items that could be considered to be of benefit or convenience to the employer. They also cannot deny or adjust compensation retroactively as punishment for poor performance.
Can I insist on a paper pay stub?
If you are located in a ‘Printed / Access’ state and are not able to print your electronic statement, then yes – you should be able to request this.
My employer refuses to give pay stubs – what can I do?
If an employer refuses to give an employee a pay stub, then the employee may be able to sue in a court of law to obtain the requested records.
“While FLSA does not require the pay stub statement, most states require that the information be available to the employee, but not necessarily as a paper paystub,” Attorney Eric D. Anderson of Eric D. Anderson Law, Ltd .
What information is included on a pay stub?
A pay stub typically includes:
- Employee information – name, social security number, address
- Dates for the pay period
- Employee’s pay rate
- Gross earnings before deductions
- Taxes withheld, e.g. federal income tax
- Employee contributions, e.g. pensions contributions
- Deductions, e.g. for insurance
- Net pay (the total amount an employee takes home after taxes, contributions and deductions are removed)
To find out more, read our guide to understanding your pay stub .
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Associate year end and w-2.
Prior to W-2 issuance:
- Get early access to your W-2 and free copies through October 15, 2023.
- CLICK HERE to go to Paperless Employee and sign up today!
- Paperless Employee has a User Guide available to reference for your account creation and other W-2 self-service features.
- If you have not registered for online delivery by January 5, you will have your W-2 mailed via USPS mail to the address on record no later than January 31.
- Look at your most recent paystub and confirm that your information is correct.
- Report any other missing or incorrect information to your local branch no later than January 5 .
- Have you moved? Tax documents are not forwarded by the postal service. Therefore, if you have moved, it is imperative that your address is updated in the system no later than January 5 .
- Use the mobile app to change your home address, email, and phone number.
Requesting a printed copy of your W-2:
- Requests for W-2 reprints will be accepted beginning February 15.
- Paper W-2 reprint requests can be made beginning February 15. These requests must be submitted in writing by visiting a local branch and completing a request form.
Note: Additional reprint requests will be available for a fee of $10 . If you haven’t already requested a copy of your W-2 in the past, you must create an account at Paperless Employee for payment of the fee and W-2 download. When your timely election for online delivery is made at Paperless Employee, copies of your W-2 are free through October 15.
Associates claiming EXEMPT status for Federal and/or State tax withholding purposes:
- A new 2023 W-4 MUST be completed by February 15, 2023, to maintain your EXEMPT status.
- If a replacement W-4 is not received, the 2023 W-4 will be treated as if the employee had checked the box for Single or Married filing separately in Step 1(c) and made no entries in Step 2, Step 3, or Step 4 of the 2023 Form W-4.
- There are several states where claiming exempt expires annually so a new 2023 W-4 MUST be submitted by February 15, 2023, to maintain the exempt status.
- If a new W-4 is not received, the 2023 W-4 will be treated as if the employee had elected Single with Zero withholding allowances.
- To initiate EXEMPT status updates, please contact your local branch. The 2023 W-4 will be available beginning December 31, 2022.
ASSOCIATE YEAR END AND W-2 FAQS
What is Paperless Employee?
Paperless Employee ( https://www.paperlessemployee.com/Associates/PE ) is a secure and user-friendly site where you may access your W-2. The site’s welcome messaging contains a hyperlink to a user guide that has step by step instructions for available services. This includes creating and managing an account, registering for online delivery, resetting your password, and printing copies of your W-2.
If you’re an existing user, use the “Login” section to access your account. If you’re a new user, you can create an account by going to the “Create An Account” section.
When will I have access to my W-2?
W-2’s will be printed and postmarked no later than January 31 and sent via USPS mail.
If you signed up for Paperless Employee, you may have access to your W-2 as early as January 25.
I registered for online delivery, but it was after the January 5 deadline.
If you registered for Paperless Employee and made the online delivery election after January 5, 2023, your W-2 will be printed and mailed via USPS mail no later than January 31.
I did not sign up for Paperless Employee and I updated my address after January 5, 2023.
Your W-2 will be mailed via USPS to the address on file as of January 5, 2023. You can sign up for Paperless Employee to receive a copy of your W-2.
I did not receive a copy of my W-2.
You can access Paperless Employee to receive a copy of your W-2.
If you prefer to have a paper copy mailed via USPS, written requests for W-2 copies will be accepted beginning February 15 by visiting a local branch and completing a request form.
Can I ask my local branch to print a copy of my W-2 for me?
No. Branches cannot access, print, or email your W-2.
To align with general data protection regulations and to protect associate personally identifiable information W-2 forms cannot be accessed, printed, or emailed by your local branch or any EmployBridge colleague. Best practice is to retrieve your W-2 directly from Paperless Employee. Individuals choosing not to use Paperless Employee must make W-2 copy requests in writing by visiting a local branch and completing a request form.
I received multiple W-2s, why?
You could receive multiple W-2’s if you worked for more than one of our brands, which may have a different Federal Identification number (FEIN), or if you worked at more than one worksite.
I believe my taxes are reported incorrectly on my W-2.
The tax amounts reflected on the W-2 are the amounts that were withheld based on the associate’s Federal and State W4 information.
After the W-2 has been created the reporting of wages and tax monies have already been sent to the tax agencies. Withholding elections cannot be changed retroactively to refund or deduct additional monies post end of year filing. You should make attempts to reconcile your withholding directly with the tax agency.
I believe my wages are reported incorrectly on my W-2.
You could receive multiple W-2’s if you worked for more than one of our brands, which may have a different Federal Identification number (FEIN), or if you worked at more than one worksite.
If you did not work for more than one site, the wages reflected on the W-2 are taxable wages. If you had Section 125 Cafeteria Plan deductions (e.g., medical, dental, vision insurance) or other non-taxable payments (reimbursements) that may explain the perceived error.
If the two statements above do not apply to you and you believe your W-2 wages are reported incorrectly, please contact us through the W-2 Hotline (866-692-6695) for further assistance.
My W-4 Status is incorrect.
All W-4 changes must be initiated by the local branch. Please visit your local branch to make changes to your W-4 elections.
My Name or SSN is not correct.
Please visit your local branch for all name or SSN corrections. A help desk ticket needs to be submitted by branch personnel to initiate system and W- 2 corrections.
What is the company FEIN and/or State account ID?
Company policy is that the Federal Identification Number (FEIN) or State Identification Number is not shared. You will need to obtain this information directly from your W-2.
Do you still have questions?
For W-2 support, a live agent will be available starting January 25, 2023. Self-service auto-response instructions on this hotline are available 365 days a year. The W-2 Hotline Support Number is 866-692-6695.
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Pay Stub Requirements by State (Plus Chart & Infographic!)
Distributing pay stubs is often an important part of the payroll process. But, do employers have to provide pay stubs? That answer depends on where your business is located. To stay compliant, you need to know the pay stub requirements by state.
All about pay stubs
Not sure what is a pay stub? No worries. A pay stub is like a summary sheet that lists details about an employee’s pay. It includes an employee’s gross income per pay period , taxes and deductions, employer contributions, and net pay .
If you use payroll software , the system generates a pay stub each time you run payroll. That way, you can distribute them to employees and keep digital or physical copies for your records.
You can think of a pay stub as a receipt for the money you pay employees. Employees can reference their pay stubs if they have any questions about their gross pay, deductions and contributions, or net pay.
Do employers have to provide a pay stub?
You might be wondering, Are pay stubs required? The short answer is: maybe.
Not all employers are required to provide a pay stub. To find out your responsibilities, you need to look at federal and state laws.
Are employers required to provide pay stubs? Federal law
There is no federal law that requires that employers provide pay stubs to employees. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act ( FLSA ) requires that employers keep payroll records. Under the FLSA, employers need to retain each employee’s hours worked and wages received.
Bottom line: you should generate pay stubs for your records under federal law. But, federal law does not require that you give them to your workers.
Are employers required to give pay stubs? State law
The answer to Are pay stubs required by law? is a little more complicated at the state level. Some states require employers to provide pay stubs and some don’t. If you must distribute them, familiarize yourself with pay stub requirements by state.
Here’s a breakdown of pay stub requirements by state. Some states:
- Require that employers give employees access to pay stubs
- Require that employers give employees printed pay stubs
- Allow employers to give digital pay stubs
- Don’t require employers to give employees pay stubs
Bottom line: some states have pay stub laws that require you to give employees pay stubs. Some states also require that you give employees physical copies of them.
Pay stub requirements by state
Most states that require employers to give employees pay stubs have rules saying that the documents must have standard pay stub information.
Generally, this means they include the beginning and end dates of the pay frequency; gross wages; taxes, deductions, and employer contributions; and net pay. The pay stub should also break down the number of regular and overtime hours worked.
Here are the pay stub legal requirements by state, broken down into categories.
States without pay stub laws:
- South Dakota
States that require employers to give employees access to pay stubs:
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
States that require employers to provide written or printed pay stubs:
- North Carolina
States that let employees opt-out of electronic pay stubs:
State that requires employees to opt into electronic pay stubs:
Pay stub legal requirements: Quick-reference chart
Do employers have to provide a pay stub infographic.
Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? Use Patriot’s online payroll to pay your employees and manage pay stubs! Give employees access to their own online portal so they can view digital pay stubs or print and distribute them, depending on your state’s rules. Start your free trial now!
This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.
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Resources The Complete Guide to New Hire Forms for 2023 (with Free Templates)
The Complete Guide to New Hire Forms for 2023 (with Free Templates)
- Posted on February 27, 2023
- by Natalie Morgan
Editor’s Note: This post is updated annually to provide you with the best and most accurate onboarding information.
You made a new hire! Hooray! What comes next, however, can be the ultimate party pooper: new hire paperwork. This is especially true if you don’t know where to start or you don’t have a system in place to make that day one paperwork run like a well-oiled machine.
If you’re new to hiring and onboarding, or simply want to tighten up your knowledge, this how-to guide should leave you feeling confident that you have your bases covered so you can move forward with what’s most important: getting your new hire up to speed so they can start making an impact!
New hire forms checklist
New hire forms fall into two major categories: federal and state forms , which are required by law and standard new hire forms , which are specific to your company’s human resources operations. Combined, these forms make up our new hire forms checklist:
- State new hire tax forms
- New hire reporting
- Employment agreement
- Employee handbook acknowledgment
- Direct deposit authorization
Emergency contact information
- Policy acknowledgements
- Benefits information
- New hire questionnaire
Federal and state forms
There are a few new hire forms that all U.S. employers need to have their employees fill out at the start of their onboarding process.
The Form I-9 verifies a new employee’s identity and their eligibility to work in the United States. It has an employee and employer section, with employees required to complete their portion by the first day of their employment.
Employers must physically examine identification documents the employee provides and complete the form no later than 3 days after the employee starts employment.
This form is the big one and it’s worth reading the instructions provided to ensure you’re staying compliant here as there are some pretty hefty penalties for both unintentional mistakes and willful noncompliance. For example, the minimum fine for a technical violation is $234 per individual.
Retention: You must keep the Form I-9 on file three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ends.
You can download the Form I-9 here and read the full instructions for Form I-9, employment eligibility verification here .
The W-4 tells you, the employer, how much to withhold from an employee’s pay for the correct federal income tax. Every employee should complete this when they are hired and must submit an updated W-4 if they ever want to change their withholding.
Retention: You must keep a Form W-4 on file for each employee for at least four years after the date the employment tax becomes due or is paid (whichever is later).
You can download the W-4 Form here.
State new hire tax forms
Many states have their own form for withholding state income tax. You should visit your state’s revenue site to learn about what forms are required in your state.
New hire reporting
You’ll need to let your state government know that you’ve made a new hire to stay compliant with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA).
One key provision of PRWORA requires certain new hire information be reported in order for state agencies to effectively enforce child support. Where to send this info, the time frame, and any additional reporting requirements vary by state.
Use this State New Hire Reporting Guide from the federal OCSE website. A Multistate Employer Registry is also available, which allows an employer to report all of its new hires in any state where it has employees.
Standard new hire forms
The following are forms that are not required by any governing bodies, but are important to successfully onboarding new employees to your company.
You should provide candidates with an offer letter outlining the terms of their employment. The offer letter typically includes:
- The type of employment (Ex: full-time/part-time or hourly/salaried)
- Company benefits
- Start Date
- Supplemental Material (ex: detailed benefits information or commission plan)
Retention: You must keep the offer letter on file for at least three years after termination.
Click the button below to download a sample offer letter template you can edit.
An employment agreement outlines the rights and responsibilities of both you and the employee. It’s more detailed than an offer letter and will also include any special obligations unique to your hiring situation such as nondisclosure agreements or non-compete agreements .
While you can find free templates online, we suggest you consult with an employment attorney to create an agreement that is suited to your business.
Retention: You must keep the Employment Agreement on file for at least three years after termination.
Employee handbook acknowledgement
An employee handbook typically includes human resources and legal information, company policies, company benefits and perks, and other information core to your people operations.
You’ll want to provide this handbook to employees upfront and have them sign off that they’ve received and reviewed the handbook with an acknowledgment form.
Retention: You must keep all policy acknowledgments on file for at least three years after termination.
Click the button below to download a sample employee handbook acknowledgment form .
Direct deposit authorization
If you’re paying employees by direct deposit (as most employers do), you’ll need to gather your employees’ bank account information so you know where to send their paychecks.
Your payroll provider may provide you with a standard form, but if you’re creating your own, it should at a minimum include:
- Type of Account (Checking or Savings)
- Routing Number
- Account Number
- Employee Name & Signature
- Date Signed
- Language to the effect of: “This authorization will be in effect until the Company receives a written termination notice from myself and has reasonable opportunity to act on it.”
You can also use a form that allows employees to split their deposit into multiple accounts or that requires a voided check on file for each account.
Retention: You must keep direct deposit records on file for at least four years after termination.
It’s a good idea to keep emergency contact information on file for all employees. This is a simple form with the contact name, phone, email, and relationship to the employee.
Click the button below to download our sample emergency contact form.
If you have any other policies not documented in your handbook, have new hires review and sign off on their first day. For example, if you have a separate policy about internet usage or sales commissions, include it with your new hire paperwork.
Make it as easy as possible for your new hires to enroll in your benefits program. Provide them with plan summaries and enrollment instructions upfront as well as who to go to (if it’s not you) to answer their benefits questions.
Your insurance provider or benefits broker will provide you with the correct enrollment forms and many now use online portals so you don’t have to mess with lengthy paper documents.
Retention: Health and benefits forms should be kept on file for three years after termination.
New hire questionnaire
New employee forms are admittedly pretty dry, but onboarding shouldn’t be! We include a get-to-know-you questionnaire in our onboarding process so we can help break the ice while introducing them to the company.
Here’s what we ask at CareerPlug:
- Introduce yourself… elevator pitch style.
- Which of our core values stood out the most to you? Why?
- What are you passionate about?
- What’s your favorite hometown meal?
- If you could visit anywhere in the world you’ve never been, where would you go?
- The last great book I read was…
Tips for creating a system for new hire forms
It’s one thing to have handy resources (like this) to double-check that you know about the forms you need after you make a hire, and it’s another to create a process so you don’t have to repeat your work for each new hire you make.
Here are some tips to creating a consistent onboarding experience – both for yourself and your new hires.
Create a checklist
Checklists are powerful yet simple tools for effectively accomplishing complex tasks. There’s even a whole book called “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawunde , who introduced checklists into hospitals during a research study that decreased patient deaths by 47%. While we’re not talking about life or death, a positive new hire experience will help you retain employees for the long haul and prevent costly turnover.
Once you’ve decided what paperwork you want to include and what tasks our experiences you want to bring to a new employee’s onboarding, create a checklist to hold yourself accountable and create a repeatable process for the future. If you don’t have a formal onboarding system, a Google document will do!
At CareerPlug, all of our onboarding is paperless . That means we don’t bother with printed new hire packets, but have all forms online for new hires to review, complete, and sign electronically.
We use our own onboarding platform so the new hire forms are automatically stored in an electronic employee record, but you can also check out form builders like JotForm to create online versions of your PDF documents.
Pro tip: Make sure you have a secure system to store electronic documents. Just like you’d lock a file cabinet, you need to lock down electronic files.
Onboarding beyond the paperwork
Remember when I said onboarding shouldn’t be as dry as all these compliance forms? It really shouldn’t!
As you envision your new hire’s first day, think beyond the paperwork when you create their experience:
- How will they understand your company culture?
- How will their coworkers get to know them?
- How will they feel welcome in your work environment?
- How will they know the expectations and milestones of their training?
The hiring experts here at CareerPlug have also created a free 90-day onboarding checklist you can download and use for your own onboarding needs.
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Manager of Partner Success
Creative Design Manager
Kacie was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2012 with a degree in Anthropology.
Kacie joined CareerPlug as an intern while still in college in 2012. Post-graduation, she joined the CareerPlug team full-time as a Talent Specialist on the Recruitment Services side of the business, eventually working her way up to be the Recruitment Services Manager. From there, she learned her passion for the internal processes of what makes the business tick and explored other roles at the company, including Internal Support, Implementation, and Quality Management, before eventually finding her home in Design. She is now building a Creative Design branch off of the Marketing team.
Outside of work, you can find Kacie walking her dogs Bixby & Bean along Buffalo Bayou, hanging out with friends (and their pets), and tending to her 40+ house plants.
Native to Texas, Jenny graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and joined CareerPlug in 2017. She retired her first career path as a Registered Dietitian after 10 years, and has found her true belonging in business operations.
As CareerPlug’s President, Jenny leads all teams to an aligned effort toward achieving our vision. She works to build healthy and scalable internal systems to equip and empower the CareerPlug teams to bring their best for our clients. She loves contributing new ideas and rethinking the status quo. Jenny really connects with the company’s core values, but especially with our intent to “Keep Growing.”
In her non-work life, Jenny enjoys time with her family, playing drums and performing with the Austin Samba School, and finding excuses to be on the lake.
Vice President of Sales
Chris accidentally started a 20-year career in franchising when he was 18 years old and took a job painting houses for College Pro Painters. That job turned into the ownership of his first franchise (a house painting franchise). While at Monmouth College in IL, he operated his business, played on the varsity football team, and studied to become a teacher.
The taste of entrepreneurship and desire to coach others led Chris deeper into franchising, working with a few franchise brands helping them grow their businesses. He lived in the Chicagoland area his entire life until recently moving his family to Austin, TX.
In his free time Chris coaches youth sports, especially youth football, and spends as much time as he can with his wife and 2 children.
Andrew Robinson III
Vice President of Product and Engineering
Senior Director of People
Growing up in southern Wisconsin, Natalie attended Emerson College in Boston. After moving to Austin in 2014, they joined the CareerPlug team to work in sales and marketing. As the company grew their role evolved into internal communications and eventually human resources. They made the move to Door County, WI in the summer of 2020 as the company transitioned to Remote First, forever.
In their current role as the Senior Director of People, Natalie works to ensure we put our People First. From helping the company grow with the right people in place, facilitating professional and leadership development programs, and ensuring we operate in alignment with our core values, Natalie is committed to growing the company to be one of the best places to work – anywhere! They also lead CareerPlug’s marketing team and contribute to creating educational content on how to hire, develop, and retain the right people.
In their non-work life, Natalie enjoys writing, hiking, hanging out by the lake, and collecting Monopoly games.
Senior Director of Client Experience
Director of Sales
Director of UX & Product Design
Director of Engineering
Director of Product Marketing
Senior Content Marketing Manager
Originally from Southern California, Desiree Echevarria graduated from Chapman University in 2009 with a degree in Television Production. After working in film and television for the first few years of her career, she pivoted to the tech industry, helping companies create high-quality content to engage readers.
As the Senior Content Marketing Manager, Desiree publishes content that showcases CareerPlug’s hiring expertise and delivers valuable hiring insights to business owners and hiring managers. She spends her free time shopping at Trader Joe’s and eating food that came from Trader Joe’s.
Originally from small town in central Texas, Ashley Johnson graduated from Texas State University in 2013 with a degree in Business Administration. She was hired by CareerPlug as a Talent Specialist in 2014, and moved up to ultimately lead the Recruitment Services team. From there, she pivoted to Implementation, and is now the Implementation Manager.
As the Implementation Manager, Ashley and 3 direct reports function as a transition between Sales and Partner Success in helping our clients get set up and established in our software. She spends her free time raising her 2 dogs, playing cornhole, and perfecting the art of charcuterie.
Tulay has worked in the HR field for over 20 years. She is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR, SHRM-CP). She joined CareerPlug in 2021 as the HR Manager on the People Team. Tulay has worked in the public sector as the Director of HR/Safety and private sector as an HR Manager for the oldest home improvement retailer in the US. Tulay is particularly experienced in the business of HR administration and employee wellness with a passion for connecting with people and employee development. An active member of the local and national SHRM Chapter.
Outside of work, Tulay loves do-it-yourself projects (large or small), making crafts, hiking, watching movies, reading, traveling, and is an avid concert goer.
Sales Operations Manager
Zach is from small town Tahoka, Texas. He ventured off and obtained a degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 2017 with a focus in Finance / Business Administration.
Zach joined CareerPlug as an intern in 2017 which led him to his first full time opportunity with the Sales Team as a Market Development Representative. In progressing his professional career and being exposed to different areas of the business, led him to his current role as the Sales Operations Manager. Improving processes and making life easier for those around him is a key focus in his work ethic.
Outside of work, you can find Zach enjoying a live sporting event, exploring local breweries, trying out a new restaurant and spending time with those close to him.
Senior Manager of Client Experience
Manager of Account Executives
Use our templates to create an attractive careers page and job posting. Then promote it through our job board partners, as well as directly with your employees, customers, and social network.
Use our notifications and automations to be the first to respond to qualified applicants. Send texts and emails from directly from CareerPlug to convert applicants to scheduled interviews.
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Once you think you have found the right person, use our reference and background check resources to verify them. Then, send an electronic offer letter from CareerPlug to close the deal!
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Founder & CEO
Clint founded CareerPlug in 2007 with the simple idea that there was a better way to help employers connect with quality applicants. Today Clint works every day to fulfill CareerPlug’s mission: Make Hiring Easier. Leading by example, Clint loves spending his time developing new ideas and teaching others.
After graduating from the University of Florida, Clint worked in investment banking and strategic marketing; both experiences influenced the development of CareerPlug. He also spent a year away from the business world teaching 5th grade in Boulder.
Clint is passionate about helping others succeed and is involved in numerous mentoring programs. He and his wife, Sarah, are also foster parents. Clint enjoys family time, beach volleyball, and outdoor adventures.
CEA's user-friendly Do-It-Yourself Sample Employee Handbook template was designed especially for California employers. This template contains all the required components of an employee handbook, plus sample policies to develop a handbook that reflects your company’s operating procedures and culture. The sample handbook contains policies for all industries including medical, dental, communication companies as well as construction and landscape businesses. Be sure to reach out to CEA if your team needs training on your Employee Handbook. We have trainers fluent in English and in Spanish who can roll out your Employee Handbook and answer questions your employees may have.
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In some cases, we also receive information about that employee's dependents and family members. 2.2 When a user creates an account, we also maintain information that allows us to authenticate the user's identity. 2.3 When a user accesses our website, their IP address, browser, and device characteristics are collected automatically. We will ...
The most common types of employment forms to complete are: W-4 form (or W-9 for contractors) I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form State Tax Withholding form Direct Deposit form E-Verify system: This is not a form, but a way to verify employee eligibility in the U.S. Prepare and obtain signatures on internal forms.
Here is a list of common documents new employees will need to complete: Federal and State Paperwork Form I-9 Form W-4 State Tax Withholding Form Company Paperwork Direct Deposit Form Offer Letter Background Check Employment Agreement Non-Compete Agreement Employee Handbook New Hire Questionnaire Non-Disclosure Agreement Drug/Alcohol Test Agreement
Below is a list of required employee records and the retention periods mandated by federal law: Resumes, job applications, and hiring tests - 1 year (no requirement for unsolicited resumes) Form I-9 - 3 years from the date of hire or 1 year after termination (whichever is later)
The legal documents that every employee personnel file must have are: IRS tax withholding forms: W-4s and/or W-9s Payroll and compensation information: Any paycheck or pay card data Contracts or agreements: Non-compete agreement, an employment contract, or an agreement relating to a company-provided car or business credit card
Login Page - PaperlessEmployee.com Welcome, Employbridge Associates!! To view your tax statements, please login or create an account if you are a first-time user. View the user guide for account creation and management. Still need help? Check out your brand's W2 page for important deadlines and FAQs.
Employee's Basic Information: An employee list naturally inputs each employee's name, address, contact number, job position or department, birthday, and other basic employee information form.And it all leads down to identifying who the employee is. Essential Business Documents: Sometimes, the list gathers details about important business documents and attachments.
Personnel files are a company's official records regarding a staff member's employment history. The files typically contain all information about the employment relationship between a company and a staff member, including their initial hiring records and exit interview materials.
These forms must be completed by every employee - without exception. After employees complete the necessary paperwork, make sure to keep them stored in a secure location in case the U.S Department of Labor requests the records. You may also need the paperwork if you're audited by state or local agencies. Related: The New Hire Onboarding Checklist
Here are the documents each list includes: List A: These documents verify both identity and employment eligibility Unexpired U.S. passport Unexpired foreign passport (with an I-551 stamp) Unexpired employment authorization card Alien registration receipt card or permanent resident card
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Basis on which employee's wages are paid (e.g., "$9 per hour", "$440 a week", "piecework") Regular hourly pay rate Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings Total overtime earnings for the workweek All additions to or deductions from the employee's wages Total wages paid each pay period Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment
employee may present to establish employment authorization and identity. The refusal to hire or continue to employ an individual because the documentation presented has a future expiration date may also constitute illegal discrimination. Section 1. Employee Information and Attestation (Employees must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later
Requesting a printed copy of your W-2: Requests for W-2 reprints will be accepted beginning February 15. Paper W-2 reprint requests can be made beginning February 15. These requests must be submitted in writing by visiting a local branch and completing a request form. Note: Additional reprint requests will be available for a fee of $10.
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Employers must give employees access to pay stubs, in any format. Arizona. Employers must give employees access to pay stubs, in any format. Arkansas. No requirements. California. Employers must give employees written or printed pay stubs. Colorado. Employers must give employees written or printed pay stubs.
It has an employee and employer section, with employees required to complete their portion by the first day of their employment. Employers must physically examine identification documents the employee provides and complete the form no later than 3 days after the employee starts employment.
Be sure to reach out to CEA if your team needs training on your Employee Handbook. We have trainers fluent in English and in Spanish who can roll out your Employee Handbook and answer questions your employees may have. Option 1: Purchase the Do-It-Yourself Employee Handbook. CEA has developed a Sample Employee Handbook template to assist you in ...
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