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Hiring in California: New Employee Forms for 2021

Taking the leap of hiring your first employee is exciting and naturally a little nerve-wracking, especially because California employment law requires you to complete several steps before your new hire’s first day. Making sure you apply for an Employer Identification Number and preparing for payroll taxes should be some of the first steps you take, but keep in mind the paperwork doesn’t stop there.

Every new employee you hire will need to complete a specific set of forms, and you’ll want to provide them with various types of paperwork and pamphlets. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what forms and documents you’ll need before your employee’s first day of work.

What forms do I need for a new employee in California?

The list of forms required for each new employee you hire in California may look extensive on the surface. However, it’s important to keep in mind that each of these documents is designed to protect you and your employees.

New employee hiring forms

  • Even if you’ve finalized things via email or in person, you should always provide your new hire with an official job offer letter. They’ll need to sign and date it to document that they’ve accepted the position.
  • A personal data form that includes basic employee information, like their full name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. You can find templates online or create this type of form easily yourself.
  • An I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form that verifies your employee is legally allowed to work in the US. They will also need to provide you with one of these acceptable identification documents in accordance with federal law.
  • Both a W-2 and a W-4 tax form. These forms will come in handy for both you and your new hire when it’s time to file income taxes with the IRS.
  • A DE 4 California Payroll tax form. Issued by the Employment Development Department, this form helps employees calculate the correct state tax withholding from their paycheck.
  • Insurance forms, including but not limited to sufficient health insurance options for your first employee and proof of workers’ compensation insurance...all procured before you officially make the hire. Find out how to secure an official Certificate of Insurance here.
  • If your company does business with the government, a Disability Self-Identification form may also be required as part of your efforts to provide equal opportunity to qualified people with disabilities.

Other important employee documents

You may want to ask your new hire to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to protect your company’s proprietary information. California employers may also provide employees with an employee handbook or any written standards of conduct.

Other important documents include:

  • A copy of a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) for future reference.
  • A DE 1857A poster issued by the EDD explaining their rights to unemployment insurance, disability insurance, and paid family leave.
  • Brochures DE 2515 and DE 2511 that review disability insurance and paid family leave in greater detail.
  • Both the DFEH-185 and the DFEH-188 handouts, which explain sexual harassment laws and the California Family Rights Act, respectively.
  • A “Time of Hire” pamphlet from your workers’ comp insurer.
  • The DLSE-NTE form that complies with the Wage Theft Prevention Act and explains wage information and sick leave details. Some employees may be exempt from this according to overtime laws and regulations.
  • An information sheet about domestic abuse titled “Rights of Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking.”
  • Copies of all workplace postings as well as a notice stating that you have followed the standards of non-discrimination in hiring practices.
  • Any other company-specific information, including a form to set up direct deposit, contact information for your human resources manager, and any other pertinent details related to the employee’s position.

Reporting your hire with California’s New Hire Reporting Program

As if that wasn’t enough paperwork to keep you busy, there is one more step that’s required when hiring a new employee in California. All employers must use the e-Services for Business website to submit a Report of New Employee. As long as you complete this step within 20 days of your new hire’s first day of work and provide basic information including your payroll tax number, EIN, and other required information, you’ll be set when it comes to reporting requirements.

Hiring your first employee might seem like a tall task, but once you’ve run through the process a few times, these lists of forms will become second nature.

While you’ll no doubt be concentrating on completing new employee paperwork, it’s important to make sure you’re adequately covered when it comes to business insurance as well, especially if this is your first hire.

Remember: The State of California requires you to have workers’ compensation, and you may want to purchase additional coverage like a Business Owner’s Policy. Visit Huckleberry today to get a free small business quote in minutes.


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Disclaimer

All content on this page is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any specific case, is not legal, tax or insurance advice and should not be relied upon. If you have any questions about the situation for your small business or the latest information in your state, you should contact an attorney for legal advice, an insurance agent or broker, and/or your state's labor or industry agency, board, commission or department. Please note that the information provided on this page may change at any time as a result of legislative action, court decisions or rules adopted or amended by any state or the federal government.

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