Employee Onboarding: Part 1

After the handshake

Onboarding employees
Once an employee has accepted a position with your company, you need to begin fulfilling the legal requirements of onboarding them.

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of completing all necessary paperwork and putting everything in place for them to begin working for your company. It’s become the term of choice in many workplaces.

Properly onboarding an employee is an important responsibility of every employer. It goes well beyond a simple job application and resumé in a file.

Steps to proper onboarding

While there may be many necessary steps specific to your company or industry, (safety training, orientation, uniform fitting etc.), there are many steps that all employers should have in common.

The most well-known steps are completing a form W-4 and a form I-9. The W-4, also known as the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, instructs the employer on how to set up an employee in the payroll system.

If done properly, this ensures that the correct amount of federal income tax is withheld from each check according to the elections made by the employee.

The W-4 form is available here.

A copy of this completed form MUST be retained by the employer at all times and for all employees. Please be aware that you must follow the elections made by the employee. It is not the employer’s right or responsibility to advise the employee or override their elections. Failure to follow the withholding guidelines may subject your company to liability if the employee owes taxes at the end of the year.

The Form I-9, also known as the Employment Eligibility Verification, is now administered by the Department of Homeland Security through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

All employers are required to complete this form for all employees once they have accepted a position of employment. It lays out very specific instructions and acceptable forms of identification.

The I-9 form, along with the instructions, is available here.

Use Proper Forms

U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States.

To assist with this, the USCIS and the Social Security Administration have provided the e-verify service.

Once a Form I-9 has been received from an employee, the employer should complete the e-verification online to be sure that the name and SSN provided are match government records.

The process is quick and easy.

Information about the program is available here.

Important Information

Federal law prohibits discrimination in hiring resulting from your suspicion that an individual might not be eligible to work legally in the United States.

You should make your hiring decision before using e-verify. If e-verify does not immediately confirm eligibility to work, there will be clear instructions on how to resolve any discrepancies or tentative non-confirmations.

In the next article we will discuss new hire reporting and benefit eligibility.

Have questions about your payroll process?

Call 918.587.3321 for answers to your questions, or contact us here.