Running a business requires a lot of attention to detail. It can be hard to keep straight all the hire documents, certifications, and procedures that the law requires of you.
One of the most complicated parts of running a business is hiring employees.
When you hire a new employee, it is crucial to make sure you have all the proper new hire documents. These employment forms will keep your business organized and protect you from legal action.
If you need to know more about these forms, keep reading. We’ll tell you everything you need to have on file when you hire a new employee.
Table of Contents
Always keep the employment application of a new employee on file. This is crucial for accountability. If an employee makes a claim on their application that you suspect to be untrue, you can reference their application as evidence.
You may want to take disciplinary action against an employee for lying on their resume. Your claim will not hold any water if you don’t have proof of what their resume actually said.
Perhaps the most important piece of new hire paperwork is the employment contract. This contract legally binds you and your new employee.
Without a signed employment contract, you can’t hold your employee to any standards of work.
This document keeps you both responsible, and serves as a legally binding guarantee that they will do their job to the best of their ability for a certain duration of time.
You must inform your new employees of their rights under your state’s labor laws. You should have your new employee sign a notice that they have been informed of their labor rights.
This can protect you from some kinds of employee complaints.
For example, in many states employees have the right to a certain number of breaks throughout their shift.
If an employee complains that they haven’t gotten their breaks, you can remind them that asking for such a break is their responsibility. If they give you more trouble, you have their signed disclosure as proof.
Some jobs require more hiring forms than others. If you run a large company that is in the public eye, you should consider giving your employees non-disclosure agreements.
A non-disclosure agreement prohibits your employee from sharing information about their boss, customers, coworkers, and more on social media.
It also prohibits them from sharing any confidential information they may come across at work.
Non-disclosure agreements can do a lot to protect your workplace from privacy breaches, unwanted bad publicity, and other public relations issues. It also makes your individual employees legally liable for privacy breaches.
Depending on the nature of your work, you may want to give your employees a non-compete agreement to sign. A non-compete agreement prohibits your employees from working for other employers while they work for you.
Not all non-compete agreements are the same. Some employers are fine with their employees having other jobs as long as they are not in the same field. Some employers don’t want their employees to have second jobs at all.
The purpose of a non-compete is to make sure that your employees are not taking the valuable training you’ve given them and using them for your competitors.
A non-compete agreement also reassures your employees that you are prepared to offer them sufficient hours or shifts.
If you expect them not to work for anyone else, they must be able to make a living working for you, and only you.
Employee Handbook Acknowledgment
It is important to make sure your employees testify that they have read and understood your handbook. If you don’t have this assurance in writing, they could claim they never learned the rules.
If you are missing this form, you may not be able to take disciplinary action against your employees.
This also prevents your employees from taking issue with the rules in your handbook. If they had an issue with one of the rules, they should have brought it to your attention before they signed this acknowledgment.
Think of your handbook acknowledgment as a terms of service agreement for your workplace.
Consent for Drug Tests
If you need to test your employees for drugs and/or alcohol, make sure you get consent first. Drug testing your employees in an inappropriate way is against the law.
There are varying reasons why you might want to drug test your employees. The law requires some workplaces to be drug-free. Most of those workplaces involve public safety.
You also might run a business that employees people who are on parole or other released felons. For that reason, you might want to drug-test your employees randomly to make sure they are staying well-behaved.
If you don’t get proper consent for drug testing, your test results will not hold up in court. Make sure they sign!
As an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure you get your employees the proper tax documents. These can include W2, W4, or I9 forms.
Go to this page for more information about I9 documents.
If you do not give your employees the right tax forms in time, they will not be able to file their taxes and receive their tax refund.
Not only will this make your employees unhappy with you, it will also get you in legal trouble. If the IRS goes after your employees for not properly filing taxes, the blame could land on you for not giving them the proper materials.
Some jobs require educational certifications. These certificates vary greatly depending on the type of job in question.
Many food service jobs require certification in the safe handling of food. If you run a bar or restaurant that sells alcohol, you should also get your employees certified in your state’s alcohol sales regulations.
If your employees are all certified in the safe selling of alcohol, you will get in less trouble if someone is overserved at your establishment.
Many jobs in the construction field also require certifications. For example, no one should operate a forklift without being forklift certified. That rule goes for any piece of potentially dangerous machinery.
Workplace accidents can always be trouble for the owner. However, if you have proof that all your employees are properly certified, you will not be as liable for these mistakes.
Copies of Identification
When you onboard a new employee, you must keep a copy of their legal identification on file. If an employee is not who they claimed to be on their application, it is your responsibility to find out that information.
This also keeps you from being liable if one of your employees is lying about being a United States citizen.
By keeping a copy of their ID on file, you have proof that you verified their legal identity and citizenship.
Direct Deposit Form
Your employees should be paid as promptly as possible, in whatever manner they prefer. In this day and age, most employees choose to be paid via direct deposit.
As soon as you have officially hired someone, you should get their direct deposit information on file.
This is easier than giving your employees physical paychecks; both for them and for you.
If your employee moves while they work for you, they might not update their address in your records right away. This could be a problem if you don’t know where to send their last paycheck.
Plus, not everyone has a local bank account. Your employees may have to wait longer to deposit physical checks, which can make their finances difficult.
Direct deposit is also better for the environment. Plus, you save money on paper and envelopes!
Your employees must be informed of their benefits when you hire them. Working toward earning all their benefits is a great motivator for new hires.
Make sure your employees sign a notice of what benefits they are entitled to. That way, they cannot claim that you are withholding any benefits from them.
Common benefits include health insurance coverage, paid time off, paid sick leave, 401k contributions, and stock options.
Let your employees know that you want them to take advantage of every benefit you can offer them.
Keep the Right New Hire Documents on File
Now that you know all about new hire documents, you can properly keep your business organized. Everything you need to know about new hires should now be at your fingertips.
Staying organized is crucial to the success of your business.
For more tips for business owners, check out the rest of our blog!