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.
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.
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