A Quick Checklist for Employee Onboarding in Indiana

All employers hiring in Indiana, and hoping to stay on the right side of the law, must know and follow the state’s employment requirements. Employers must give all the required federal and state forms and information to their potential and new hires.

Before employee onboarding, make sure they have completed these forms as required. As an employer, you are also responsible for keeping certain records and avail them when needed by government officials.

If you’re hiring, below is a quick checklist for new employee onboarding in Indiana to get you started.

1.    I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification

Form I-9 is essential for verifying the identity and employment authorizations of persons you are considering to hire in the US. As an employer, you must complete this form for all individuals you hire for employment, whether citizens or non-citizens. The form requires employees to attest to their employment authorization and present their employers with satisfactory documents that prove identity and employment authorization.

Ensure you review the employment eligibility and the documents and employee provides to ascertain whether they are genuine, relate to the employee, and record that information on the form. You can find the list of acceptable documents on the last page of Form I-9. Ensure you retain the form for a designated period and avail it for inspection by authorized government officials when need be.

2.    W4 for Federal Income Tax Withholding

Form W-4 provides you with information regarding income tax withholding from the employee paychecks. All your new employees must complete this form before they receive the first paycheck. You can order several copies of Form W-4 from the IRS or download them from the website. Note that advising employees on how to complete the form is illegal, but you can direct them to the IRS website on the frequently asked questions page.

Your employees can make adjustments on the form, e.g., changing the withholding once they receive a bonus. However, you must monitor the latest changes and ensure the employee paychecks echo their wished-for withholding.

3.    WH-4 for Indiana State Income Tax Withholding

Employers in Indiana must withhold state income taxes from both non-resident and resident employees who offer their services in Indiana. Therefore, you must ensure that your Indiana employee fills the WH-4 form to know the amount of state income tax to withhold from their wages. Ensure you keep this form together with the federal Form W-4.

4.    Personal Information File for Employee Record

Employers must keep their employees’ personal information files or risk severe penalties. Ensure you keep the I-9 Forms, payroll records, agreements, and collective bargaining agreements for at least three years. If the employee does not live to see their third year in your company, ensure you keep the I-9 form at least a year after they leave.

Additionally, employers should keep basic employment and earning records such as wage rates for at least two years. The general recommendation is to hold all employment records from the date of termination of employment. Although the set retaining periods are minimums, these records are critical, and you may want to keep them for longer periods.

5.    Background Check or Drug Test

Drug tests and physical exams associate with several regulations such as ADA, state disability, and privacy laws. Background checks reviews occur before employee onboarding. These checks are a review of the reportable public information of an individual’s life, such as criminal records and credit history.

On the other hand, ADA requires employers to ask for a physical exam only after they make a documented job offer to an individual. Therefore, you should document that you made an offer before the applicant was needed to undertake a physical exam.

6.    Employee Handbook

You must provide your new hire with an employee handbook or company policies and procedures manual. Once the employees receive a copy, read, understood it, and if need be, contact HR for any questions, ensure you obtain a written acknowledgment from them.

The acknowledgment should have an at-will provision reiterating that the employee or the employer may terminate the employment bond for any reason that is not illegal and at any time. A written acknowledgment is essential in case of a lawsuit where an employee claims they were unaware of a certain employee policy outlined in the handbook.

Final Thoughts

Most of the time, it is not a requirement that you return the forms to any office. However, once completed, you must keep them since they could be part of an audit by local, state, or federal agencies.

Are you looking for professionals specialized in payroll, time and attendance, and human capital management? At ASAP Payroll, we offer customized solutions to help your business navigate these issues. Reach out to us for a free quote and subscribe to our newsletter for tips on maximizing your productivity and ROI.

 

 

Top 3 Best Practices for Screening New Hires with Background Checks

Background checks are an important part of the recruitment process. Not only do they help employers hire the right people, but also reduce legal risks and resource wastage associated with wrong hires.

Types of Background Checks

Looks and first impressions can be quite deceiving, and background checks help hiring managers uncover any lies perpetrated by job candidates. Depending on your organization’s policies, the position in question, and federal or relevant state laws, you can use the following types of background checks to verify the information provided by a potential employee.

Job History

Recent surveys show that more than 78% of job applicants lie about their past work. This might include changing their job titles, extending their work periods, and exaggerating their job experiences. Unfortunately, many hiring managers tend to overlook this aspect of the background check, leading to under-qualified hires.

To avoid recruiting the wrong person, you must make sure that your candidate provided the correct dates, job titles, and experiences. While verifying information on job history, you should also inquire about other important employee issues, such as their performance and behavior.

Education Verification

Even though education might not be very important for some roles, some technical jobs demand that you conduct a background check on the educational qualifications of a candidate. For example, nobody wants to be treated by a quack or represented by a lawyer who has not passed their bar exams.

Criminal History Check

This is a crucial part of the screening process conducted by nearly every employer. When looking at a candidate’s criminal history, you should consider the type of crime they committed, the time that has elapsed since they were convicted, and whether the offense is relevant to the role that you are hiring for.

Best Practices for Conducting Background Checks

While there is no question about the benefits of conducting background checks on a new hire, companies must exercise caution and follow the law and best practices of the screening process. Failure to do this can lead to screening disparities, creating regulatory compliance and litigation risks. This is why it is better to hire an expert to do background checks on any new employee. Regardless of whether you are using an in-house or an outsourced human resource service, the following are best practices for doing successful background checks.

Create Internal Policies on Screening and Background Checks

You must have clear and fair policies on candidate screening and monitoring, including both pre-employment and post-employment background checks. Pre-employment screening policies must be consistently applied to every new hire, without any discrimination.

You must inform both new and old employees of existing and updated screening policies and procedures, and make documentation on such processes easily accessible. This will create transparency for your company and minimize the risks of litigation.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance

Both federal and state laws have provisions that protect the rights of employees during the screening process. These laws are mainly instituted to protect new employees from discriminatory practices during the hiring process.

The federal laws to consider are The Fair Credit Reporting Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. On the other hand, state laws tend to differ, and how employers conduct and use background checks varies from state to state.

For instance, in Indiana, employers are prohibited from asking new employees about any sealed or restricted criminal records. Job applicants can therefore deny any past criminal history that appears in restricted records.

As an employer, you must familiarize yourself with these regulations and comply with them to avoid any legal problems. For ease of compliance, you must incorporate federal and state regulations into your internal screening policies and processes.

Use Social Security Number Trace

The social security number trace can provide key information on a new employee, including all their previous residential addresses, for the past seven years. You can use these residential details to check for criminal records in the right geographical and county courts of law, thus saving time and avoiding erroneous searches.

Additionally, you can use social security number checks to detect any fraudulent and identity theft concerns. This can be detected through mismatched details, or if the social security number is linked to a death claim. If you preemptively conduct your SSN checks, you can evade the headaches of no-match letters and I-9 compliance.

Ultimately, background checks help employers to hire the right people and reduce turnover rates. However, they must be applied in the right manner following relevant laws.  ASAP Payroll is committed to providing high-quality, low-cost, complete solutions specifically tailored to meet your criminal background search needs. Our system is fast and easy-to-use, allowing for immediate results. Contact us today for more information.

Download our FREE guide for creating the perfect employee handbook

The True Costs Of Hiring Your First Employee

A company that is hiring new employees is a company that is growing, but that does not mean that all of this growth is without cost. The true cost of bringing on a new employee is a lot higher than what most people think.

Advertising An Opening

The true cost of hiring a new employee begins at the moment that the position itself is posted for hiring. Job boards and other mediums of getting the word out about a job position will take a cut of money just to get involved with advertising the existence of said position to begin with. Thus, this is part of the calculation of a business that is looking to hire. The sooner that a company can fill a position, the less they spend on this opening expense.

Recruitment And Initial Paperwork

Candidates must be screened before they can become a full-fledged employee. Companies need to verify that the person that they are investing such resources in actually has the ability to pan out for them as a quality employee. This cost can be quick expensive. Investopedia.com has a nice summary of many of the initial steps required to bring a new candidate onboard:

Just the price of finding the right person to hire can be hefty. There are various potentially high costs just in the process of recruiting, according to business consultant William G. Bliss, president of Bliss & Associates Inc.. These include advertising the opening, the time cost of an internal recruiter, the time cost of a recruiter’s assistant in reviewing resumes and performing other recruitment-related tasks, the time cost of the person conducting the interviews, drug screens and background checks, and various pre-employment assessment tests.

These steps are costly but are a necessary evil to obtain a quality candidate that can relied upon to show up when they are supposed to and perform the work tasks that are assigned to them.

Salary Negotiations And Decisions

The salary of the employee is one of the stickiest negotiating points of the whole discussion of bringing someone new onboard. Employers have a lot of responsibility here as they must determine what a fair salary is while at the same time not over committing and costing themselves excessive amounts of money. There are other factors to consider as well such as:

  • Will this employee be part-time or full-time?
  • Will the employee be paid hourly or salaried?
  • What is the rate that will be paid for any overtime (a minimum of 1.5x the standard hourly payment is required)?
  • What kind of schedule will the employee be asked to work?
  • How will holiday pay work?
  • What kind of personal time off (PTO) will be available to the employee?
  • Will PTO be paid out to the employee when they leave the job?

Salaries are constantly in flux as the market assigns different values to different jobs over time. Employers must keep an eye out for what is considered a fair wage for the work that they have to offer and must look at what their competitors are paying as well. Attracting the top talent means at least matching what the competition has to offer.

Training

No new employee walks through the door knowing how to perform the job that they have just been hired for perfectly. Everyone requires some level of training before they can be set out on their own to accomplish what they need to. That training costs significant amounts of money in the form of time. A more trained employee typically has to take time away from their usual tasks in order to help work with the new hire. They are taking time out of their productive day and the new hire still has to be paid for their time as well even though they are still just learning how to do the work. It is an expensive time for the employer to be sure.

Tax Expenses

The Federal government requires certain taxes be paid by an employer and certain taxes be paid by the employee. FICA is one form of tax that both parties pay a portion of, and this helps cover the employee’s responsibilities towards Medicare and Social Security. Additionally, workers compensation is covered by the employer.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the overall costs of hiring a new employee, but it does help to sum up some critical areas that employers have to think about before adding to their head count. Please contact us with any additional questions or inquiries regarding the cost of hiring a new employee.

How to Classify a New Employee: Exempt vs Nonexempt

The understanding of wage classification assists HR managers and business owners to compensate workers in strict fidelity to the law. It’s the foundation that minimizes litigations, disputes, and compliance issues. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the basis that draws a line on whether an employee is exempt or nonexempt. Nonexempt employees can claim overtime, whereas exempt employees can’t claim overtime regardless of the number of hours they work.

Difference Between Exempt and Nonexempt Employees

Here is a three-point test to help you understand these classifications

  • Salary Level: Any employees paid less than $913 per week are considered nonexempt.
  • Salary Basis: This classifies employees that receive a guaranteed minimum pay regardless of the hours worked. It’s not expressly the total pay but the portion they’re entitled to receive in a given workweek.
  • Duties: These can either be administrative, professional, or executive, but high-level services — for instance, a computer engineer who has improved their skill through prolonged studies.

Here are a few things you need to know about exempt and nonexempt employees

  • Exempt Employees: These employees are paid a set amount regardless of how many hours they have worked in a week. This simply means that exempt employees receive a salary and are not paid hourly as their work is either professional, executive, or administrative.
  • Nonexempt Employees: Nonexempt employees must be paid a minimum of 40 hours plus overtime— being 1.5 of the standard hourly rate — for any given workweek. As an employer, it’s prudent to comply with additional state laws that further classify non-exempt employees.

Exemptions In White-collar Roles

Many variables determine whether an employee qualifies for an exemption or not. Here are a few of them to help you understand better.

Executive Exemptions

  • The primary duty is the management of the enterprise or one of the divisions.
  • Manages the work of two or more employees or an equivalent
  • Has the authority to fire, hire, make recommendations or change the status of an employee.
  • Paid on a salary basis with minimum pay of $684 weekly

Examples include business owners, CEOs, and Vice Presidents.

Administrative Exemptions

  • The primary role is non-manual and involves the general running of the business operations.
  • Exercises decision-making on significant matters and can bind the company using contracts such as consultation, advice to management, and long-term plans.
  • They are paid on a salary basis.

A point to note: Administration exemptions are overlooked and misclassified because most employees are not proud of holding a nonexempt position in an office setting.

Examples include office secretaries and office managers.

Professional Exemptions

  • The primary duty involves advanced knowledge that relies heavily on discretion and judgment.
  • It must be in science or learning whose knowledge is acquired through prolonged study or specialization.
  • They are paid using a salary or a fee and no less than $684 weekly.

Examples include doctors, lawyers, architects, computer scientists, writers, artists, and so on.

Tips to Manage Exempt and Nonexempt employees

  • It’s recommended to keep track of the hours worked by exempt employees separately. Employers can also require them to work on specific shifts and keep track of hours clocked.
  • Conduct an annual review to classify workers afresh. For example, if the duty performed is repetitive every other day, such a worker can be classified nonexempt.
  • Training: It’s important to keep your workforce informed on new policies and rules that affect compensation and classification.

Let Us Help You Comply And Manage Your Workforce

The process of classifying employees is complex and sometimes confusing. A classification mistake can have far-reaching legal and financial implications. As such, it’s advisable to invest in systems and knowledge for better management. That said, you’ll need a reputable firm like ASAP Payroll Service. We offer time management systems, payroll service, and valuable HR resources. Contact us today to transform your HR function.

The Value of An Employee Handbook