New Hire Forms 101
So you've found the one - Now what!? First off, congratulations! Finding just the right person to fill a new or empty position is a big step, and we want to acknowledge how much work it is getting to that step. So give yourself a pat on the back for making it over that hurdle! The next step is figuring out what to do on their first day of work! We would recommend starting their first day off with a nice warm welcome, plenty of introductions, and a little bit of required paperwork (or maybe a lot, depending on what State the employee is in).
There are three federal forms that are required:
I-9, W-4, and Healthcare Model Notice.
Forms on forms on forms
The first and most important of those being the Federal I-9. This is the document that verifies that your employees are authorized to work in the United States. If this doesn't sound familiar or you need some more direction, check out our I-9 blog post HERE. The second document, the W-4 is an IRS document where your employee will elect their tax withholdings or declare an exemption from federal taxes. Please note that you as the employer should NOT be giving tax guidance (unless you also happen to be the employee's CPA or tax professional), so if your employee has questions, defer and guide them to a tax professional - or someone they trust. You don't want to be on the hook for any mistakes! Lastly, your new employees need to be given the Healthcare Model Notice notifying them of whether or not your company offers benefits. There are 2 versions of the form, and you will be choosing the form outlining that your company DOES or DOES NOT offer healthcare benefits options, and where to access the Marketplace so that they can find coverage.
Oh wait, there is more...
On a state level, requirements can differ vastly. If you're in California, warm that printer up because you'll have about 50 pages that are required to print and provide to your employee. In Colorado, the home of simplyHR, our only additional requirement is a Pregnancy Accommodation Notice. Not only do you have to include it in your State required posters, but you are required to provide it to employees upon hire. (Yes - ALL employees!). If you have remote workers or employees working at locations in other States, you will need to provide all of the required State documents specific to the State the employee works in.
T's crossed, I's dotted
Whew! Forms and documents? Check! But now what? Most states require you report new employees within 20ish days (oftentimes your accountant or payroll company will do this step, but you'll want to double-check). I-9's get filed under lock & key. W-4s will be provided to your bookkeeper, payroll company, or whoever is cutting checks, then filed away securely. Any acknowledgments of receipt of forms and documents will go in personnel files (assuming there's no confidential information included), and make sure your employees took their forms & documents!
Time to dust off that welcome mat!
Next steps include making your carefully selected new employee feel welcome and understand how they fit into the company's bigger picture! You've spent a lot of time and energy getting to this point, so it's important to continue to support and welcome the new employee until they are a part of the big happy team that is your workplace!
We love HR so you can love what you do. simplyHR LLC is an HR consulting firm located in Fort Collins, CO providing partnerships to companies in all 50 states. Our goal at simplyHR LLC is to provide training, education, partnership, and resources to make Human Resources simple for small businesses.
The content of this website provides practical and HR best practice information and is not legal advice. simplyHR LLC does not provide legal advice or other professional services. While every effort is made to provide accurate and current information, laws change regularly and may vary depending on the state and/or the municipality your business operates in. The information provided from simplyHR LLC is provided for informational purposes and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgement. You should review applicable federal, state and municipality laws in your jurisdiction and consult with legal counsel as you deem necessary.