New Employee Forms

New employee forms are various forms and other paperwork that must be filled out when an employer brings on new employees. Keep in mind that such paperwork, required by both state and federal laws, is to be filled out prior to the employee beginning his or her first day on the job. Once new employees fill out the new employee forms, all paperwork must be kept on file for recordkeeping purposes. More specifically, the U.S. Department of Labor provides certain requirements for both payroll and personnel records that must be kept all employees.

What Forms Are Required?

Form W-4

This is the initial form to be filled out prior to a new employee receiving his or her first paycheck. The form itself requires information on an employee’s marital status, number of dependents, and additional optional withholding amounts.

Form I-9

Form I-9 along with E-Verify System for Employment Eligibility is another form that must be filled out by all new employees. All employers must properly document the eligibility of new employees to work in the United States. This documentation will generally include either a birth certificate or green card as proof of eligibility. While these forms need not be filed with any state of federal agency, this paperwork is incredibly and necessary in the event the employer is audited by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service. Form I-9 also provides an anti-discrimination notice, which specifies that employers cannot discriminate against certain individuals or refuse to hire someone based on someone’s citizenship status, i.e. green card vs. U.S. citizenship.

Job Application

The Job Application is the third form that a new employee must complete, even if hiring internally. This form is to be used primarily for paper trail purposes verifying the steps taken when hiring a new employee. This form is important to conduct the necessary background review on new employees, including references, educational background, and level of experience. Some job applications go into more detail than others, wholly dependent on the company and line of business. Some companies require that potential new employees provide specific information regarding prior manager names and telephone numbers, dates of employment, and proof of prior pay (i.e. paystubs) while other companies may be more broad in job applications by simply asking for one’s educational background and work experience without necessarily reaching out to prior employers.

State Withholding and Registration

The State Withholding and Registration is another new employee form that must be filled out. Employers are required to register all new employees with their respective state’s new hire notification system. Such registration permits the state to collect child support payments from employees. This form also registers those employees for tax income purposes in which employers are required to deduct income taxes from employees based on level of income.

Checklist

A Checklist must also be filled out; this document can be unique to each company’s needs and is really a checklist for the employer, and not the employee. Such information generally found on a checklist includes: making a copy of the new employee’s social security number and drivers license, registering as an employer with the state, registering with the IRS for tax purposes, sign up for the new hire registration system, verify employment eligibility, enroll in workers compensation insurance, enroll in unemployment insurance, purchase appropriate workplace posters to hang in the workplace, obtain all new hire paperwork for each new employee, draft an employee handbook, and ensure that all employment and labor laws are being followed at the local, state, and federal levels.

The employee handbook may be one of the most important items for any employer. It must be detailed, specific, and leave no room for interpretation. It should be the first item employees look to for any questions or uncertainties, which is why all questions should be answered in the employee handbook. This should include paid time off, medical leave, career advancement, and more.

State Employment Agency Certification

This is another new employee form that should be filled out. If your new employee is a state employment agency referral, he or she may have a certification. If so, the employer must use this document instead of the I-9.

DOL Notice for Health Insurance Marketplace

This is another new form to be filled out. For those employees working for a small business, such health care coverage is provided through the health insurance marketplace.

State Tax Withholding

This is another form to be filled out by new employees. This is a rather straightforward and simple form, as this document simply specifies that employees are subject to state income tax withholding from payroll taxes. However, be mindful that not all states in the U.S. require state income tax, including Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

Emergency Contact Form

This form will identify at least one or two emergency contacts in the event of an emergency. This will generally include the name, relationship to the employee, and telephone number of all emergency contacts.

Bank Account Form

This form is to be filled out before the employee receives his or her first paycheck. This form will usually question whether the employee wishes to receive direct deposit or payment in the form of a paper check. If choosing the former, new employees will be required to indicate the bank’s name, account number, routing number along with a voided check. If choosing a paper check, the employee will be informed that the check may be delayed due to processing and delivery times.

Form SS-5

This is the Social Security form that identifies every employee’s social security number. This is important so that employers can input this identification number on each and every W-2 that is filled out come tax time. Generally, employers request new employees to provide a copy of their social security card so it can be kept on file.

Benefits Form

This document must be filled out specifically indicating which employer-sponsored health insurance is being chosen. In addition, this document will also inquire into whether or not new employees want to take advantage of the life insurance, disability insurance, and retirement plan benefits that the company may offer.

Notice of Workers Compensation

This document will specifically indicate whether or not the company provides workers compensation insurance.

Consent for Background Check

This document must be signed by all new employees and is usually a must when it comes to hiring employees. Most companies will not formally hire an employee if he or she fails to consent to a background check. The background check is generally conducted by a third party company working for the employer who makes phone calls to verify the potential new employee’s work experience and educational background. This consent form will also indicate that a criminal background check will be conducted.

Acknowledgment of Receipt of Policy Handbook

While this document is optional, it is highly recommended. Employers should ensure that all employees are well aware of what is included in the employee handbook. Therefore, companies should include an additional form for employees to sign having acknowledged receipt of the employee handbook.

Consent for Drug Testing/Search Policy

This is an appropriate form if a company engages in periodic drug testing and searches of employees. Most companies should include this consent document for new employees requiring them to take a drug test. However, some companies may also require periodic testing, particularly for those employees operating in the transportation industry.

Consent for Video Surveillance

If the company engages in such surveillance, then this document is highly recommended. This document simply states that surveillance cameras are set up throughout the workplace; security will constantly monitor such tapes to ensure no acts of wrongdoing.

Additional agreements pertaining to pay, benefits, work schedule, and workplace location are additional optional documents that companies can consider drafting when providing new employee forms to potential new hires.

If you need help learning more which new employee forms are most important to include, or if you aren’t sure of what additional optional documents you should utilize, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.