Legal Checklist for New Hires

Welcoming and onboarding new employees is an exciting time. As an employer, you obviously want to make sure you are hiring the right person. Whether you are hiring your first employee or your business is growing rapidly, it is essential that you make sure you are complying with the law. You must have some understanding of the necessary legal requirements. This article will go through some simple steps that must be followed when taking on a new employee.

Recruitment Policies

As an employer, you must ensure that you are following anti-discrimination laws when it comes to interviewing and recruiting new staff. You must be careful with how you use language and avoid certain phrases that may be viewed as discriminatory. Your application policies should ensure that you do not discriminate against people with disabilities. Interview questions should also be compliant with this protocol. Questions should focus on whether the applicant can successfully perform the duties of the job.

Background Checks

If you plan to run a background check on applicants, you should ensure that all relevant laws are followed. Arrest records without conviction should not be considered during the hiring process, as there is no proof of guilt. You must follow all requirements outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Applicants should sign a written agreement before you run a background check.

Employment Taxes

You must ensure that you are well equipped to collect and pay taxes for your employees. If you are a new business, you can commence this process by applying for an employer identification number. This is done by filling out IRS form SS-4. You must also register with the state tax and labor department. This will enable you to pay state income taxes collected from employee wages and state unemployment compensation taxes. You should also set up a payroll system so that the right amount of taxes are withheld. Ask your new employee to fill out the IRS form W-4.

Immigration Requirements

You must ensure that immigration requirements are followed. Check identification and all relevant documents to ensure that you only hire people who are legally allowed to work. You must complete form I-9. This will verify their legal status for employment. You must keep this form on record for three years and present it to immigration officials if you are asked to do so. This form must be completed within three days of the employee accepting the job, so you don’t have much time.

Completing Forms

As well as the forms mentioned above, there is other paperwork to consider. If you are going to offer a professional contract, this must include the job information, work schedule, length of employment, compensation and benefits, employee responsibilities, and conditions for termination of the contract.

You must also obtain signatures on any internal forms. This can include non-disclosure agreements, drug or alcohol testing consent agreements, equipment inventory lists, confidentiality agreements, and many more. If you are offering employee benefits, the terms and conditions must be clearly outlined and must be signed in some cases. This can include insurance or retirement benefits. You should also keep a record of emergency contacts and any relevant allergy information.

New Hire Reporting

You must report the name and basic information of your new employee to the new hire reporting agency. This is so that parents who are legally required to pay child support can be found easily.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Most states will require you to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. Some states will require this regardless of how few employees you have. Other states will have a minimum number of employees under your charge before you are required to have this insurance in place.

Employee Handbook

Your employee handbook should talk about all policies that are important to the company. This can include anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. You may speak of attendance and punctuality requirements. You can discuss what disciplinary measures will be taken if these are not met. You can also state that the employment is at the will of the employer and employee unless there is a written contract in place.

Personnel Files

From the very beginning of the hiring process, you should ensure that all employee files are kept up to date. It is helpful to keep all relevant information in one place. This can include their written job offer, application, resume, federal forms, tax forms, evaluations, and anything else that is relevant. Usually, medical forms are kept separately from everything else, and they must be kept in a secure place with limited access.

Workplace Safety

New employees should receive any training that is relevant to their job. This should include workplace safety training. You must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act and state safety and health laws. This means ensuring that the workplace is free of hazards. You are required to provide training that means new employees can do their job in a safe manner. You must also report any serious accidents or fatalities which happen in the workplace. Be ready to maintain safety records that are as detailed as possible. You must also post notices so that your employees know how to report accidents or injuries.

Research Assistance

If you need more information about federal and state labor and employment laws, you may also want to take a look at the employment law handbook. This will help you to understand your legal requirements and obligations. At all times, you need to make sure that you are compliant with local, state, and federal laws. Keeping up to date can be difficult. For example, this bill of rights will give new rights to people who are working remotely.

In Summary

It is essential that you comply with the law when hiring a new employee. This can sometimes be a minefield. This checklist should give you an idea of the protocols you need to follow to ensure you do not fall foul of the law. People looking for work often take the online route. They may look for good options of job boards. Many employer tasks can also be done online. It is possible to fill out and sign many relevant forms electronically, which can save you valuable time and energy.

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