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Hiring Employees: Federal & State Laws on Documentation

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  • 0:00 First Day on the Job
  • 0:57 Federal Employee Documentation
  • 2:33 State Employment Documentation
  • 3:02 Avoiding Documentation…
  • 3:49 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: A. Casey Carr-Jones

Casey Carr-Jones holds a Bachelor's degree in English & Psychology. She is currently a PHR-certified Human Resources Consultant.

Form I-9, Form W4, additional tax withholding paperwork... there are many required forms for a new hire to complete when they start work. This lesson reviews the mandatory documentation that a job candidate must complete in order to be legally employed.

First Day on the Job

Josh is a veterinarian recently hired by the ABC Vet company. On his first day of work, he meets with the human resources manager to go through orientation and training. The human resources manager, Kelly, plops down a stack of paperwork in front of Josh. Josh thumbs through the documents, looks up, and asks, 'Are all of these papers necessary?' Kelly replies, 'I'm afraid so, Josh. These are state- and federally-required documents that we need you to complete immediately.'

What are these documents? Why are they so important in the on-boarding process? We will walk through mandatory documentation that must be completed for a company to legally employ a job candidate.

Federal Employment Documentation

The federal government requires the completion of certain paperwork upon hire. These records and forms confirm eligibility to work in the United States, verify the employee's Social Security number, and specify the employee's tax withholding.

The Form I-9 is used to prove that the employee is eligible to perform work in the United States. This form requires the employee to provide certain identification documents, like a passport, driver's license, and/or birth certificate. One of these documents must confirm the identity of the individual (must be a photo ID) and one of the documents must provide proof of employment eligibility (like proving citizenship in the United States).

In order to be employed, an employee must provide their Social Security number (SSN), which is a nine-digit number in the format XXX-XX-XXXX issued to US citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents who are eligible to work. The Social Security number must be entered into the company's payroll systems, allowing the proper income and tax information to be tracked to the correct individual.

Upon hire, an employee must also complete and sign a Form W4. The Form W4 asks the employee to indicate how much income tax should be withheld from the employee's paycheck. The amount of income tax withheld is determined by the filing status (single, married, etc.) and the indicated withholding allowance.

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