Cover Your Bases: 7 Legal Documents That Every New Employee in Your Business Should Sign

Hiring a new employee is an exciting time. Not only does it mean your business is expanding and capable of taking on new hires, but it’s also an opportunity for someone to get to work and show you what they are capable of. But before your new employee gets to work, there are several key documents that they need to sign in order to protect both of you in your new working relationship. Below we discuss the most common forms that every new employee needs to sign before starting their employment.

  • Offer Letter or Employment Agreement

The first document your employee will likely see is their offer letter or employment agreement. In it is their salary, start date, job description, and other essential bits of information. They need to sign off on this basic summary of their new position after they accept the job because they need to acknowledge that they know what they are getting into, essentially.

  • Employee Handbook Acknowledgement Form

Every business should have an employee handbook and make sure that each new employee signs a form that states they have read and understood it. The handbook details all of your company’s policies and procedures. Because it essentially lays out the rules of your company, it will serve as the foundation for resolving any potential legal issues between you and your employee down the road.

  • Government Form I-9

Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification form, is essential in the onboarding of any new employee because it is what asserts that your new employee is legally eligible to work in the United States.

  • IRS Form W-4

The W-4 form or Withholding Allowance Certificate is what employers use to withhold the correct amount of federal income in each employee’s paycheck. Each employee must fill this out before they are able to get paid because they have to detail their filing status and any personal claims they plan to make that will impact how much is withheld in taxes.

  • Non-Disclosure Agreement

Sometimes your business deals in things that cannot be disseminated to anyone outside of your company, like the development of new software and technology. In these situations it’s a good idea to have your employees sign a NDA before getting started so that your business information and intellectual property are properly protected.

  • Payroll Information

Finally, before any employee begins work, they have to tell you how they will be paid: either by direct deposit or by check. It’s important to do this before they start so that you can set them up with your payroll system and so that they can get paid on time.

Speak with an experienced California business law attorney.

Whenever you are developing your new hire forms, it’s important to speak with an experienced business law attorney to make sure you have everything covered and properly drafted. If you are a California business owner and need help onboarding your new employees, please contact IGC today!

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Written by Integrated General Counsel

Our focus includes handling a variety of corporate matters and also includes litigation in state and federal courts. Our current practice includes providing transactional services and representing a variety of small and medium-sized companies as their outsourced general counsel.