Hiring a new employee is always an exciting time. It means your business is growing and most employers are eager to get the new employees off to a fast start. Before you bury them in assignments and meetings take the time to ensure that the following documentation is provided to and completed by the new employee immediately at the time of hire. Failure to do so can be a violation of state and federal laws.
The following documents must be provided by employers to new employees. No exceptions!
- Form I-9 needs to be filled out by the new employee in order to verify the employee’s identity and employment authorization. Federal law provides that this form must be completed by the third day of the employee’s work.
- Form W-4 must be completed by the employee at the time of hire so that the employer can withhold the proper amount of federal income tax from the employee’s pay.
- The Time of Hire Pamphlet from the California Department of Industrial Relations needs to be provided to all new employees no later than the end of their first pay period.
- The California Labor Commissioner’s notice on the Rights of Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking must be given to new employees at the time of hire.
- The California Employment Development Department’s Disability Insurance Provisions Pamphlet must be provided to new employees within five days of hire.
- The Wage Theft Prevention Act requires employers to provide non-exempt new employees with a notice upon hire that states the employer’s legal name and address, the employer’s paid sick leave policy, and the employee’s rate of pay. The California Department of Industrial Relations has created a template for employers to use, that can be found here. This template meets the law’s requirements but employers are free to use a different template as long as it provides all of the required information.
- The California Employment Development Department’s Paid Family Leave Insurance Pamphlet. This pamphlet must be provided to new employees at the time of hire.
- The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s Sexual Harassment Pamphlet must be provided to all new employees at the time of hire.
The following documents are not required to be provided to employees but should be as a matter of good practice.
- The California Employment Development Department’s Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. This document may assist your employees with ensuring that the correct amount of California state tax is withheld from their paychecks.
- Job application form. Please ensure that this form is current and no longer asks questions that employers are no longer allowed to ask such as how much an employee made at previous jobs or whether or not they have been convicted of a crime. This form should be filled out and signed by the employee even if they have already been hired since it requires an employee to attest that the information on the application is true and correct.
- Employment poster. Every business that has employees (except in very limited circumstances) must have compliant workplace posters displayed in a place where employees gather (like a break room).
- Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders. All applicable wage orders must be posted in a place where employees gather. A list of all of the wage orders can be found here.
- Employee handbook. Many policies must be provided to employees in writing. Failure to have legally compliant policies may be used as evidence that an employer does not comply with the law. We recommend that each employer has a comprehensive and up-to-date employee handbook that provides, at a minimum: (1) timekeeping requirements; (2) overtime policy; (3) meal and rest break policies; (4) FMLA/CFRA leave (if you have 50 or more employees); (5) anti-discrimination, retaliation and harassment policies (if you have 5 or more employees; (6) reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities policy; (7) pregnancy disability leave policy (if you have more than 5 employees); and (8) paid sick leave policy.