Whether a new business is preparing to hire its first employee or is revisiting its already-existing hiring procedures, making sure that the on-boarding process is done correctly and consistently will result in significant long-term benefits in terms of reducing stress associated with hiring new employees, decreasing legal risks arising out of improper hiring procedures, and ensuring that the business is protected if an employee happens not to work out and must be terminated. The following guide provides a basic list of forms that any Texas business should make part of its employee files.*
1. Employment Application. Every employee should fill out and sign an employment application. Make sure to keep an electronic copy of all employment documents and keep them confidential.
2. I-9 Form. Every employer must obtain an I-9 form and the appropriate employment eligibility verification documents from each new employee.
3. Confidentiality Agreement. Have every employee who has access to confidential information sign such an agreement. Make sure the agreement is enforceable in Texas and contains all the key provisions.
4. Non-Compete/Non-Solicitation Agreement. Have key employees execute non-competition and/or non-solicitation agreements. Consult with an attorney to determine which agreement will best benefit your business and make sure that the agreement meets all the requirements under Texas law.
5. Criminal Background Check. Run criminal background checks on employees, but make sure you comply with any “check-the-box” rules that might be in force in your geographic location.
6. Personnel Data Form. Make sure all employees complete the form upon hiring.
7. Emergency Contact Form. Have this form easily accessible in case of emergency (i.e. do not include it in a confidential file that only HR or owner may access).
8. W-4 Form. Have all employees fill out this form required under federal law.
9. Employer Property Form. If the company provides certain equipment to employees, such as mobile phones or laptops, make sure that employees sign a form acknowledging receipt of that equipment, so that when they depart, the company knows exactly what equipment must be returned.
10. Employee Handbook Acknowledgement Form. If a business has an employee handbook or manual, make sure that every employee signs a form acknowledging that s/he read the handbook and understands that s/he must comply with the rules described in the handbook.
11. COBRA Rights Notification. Employers with 20 or more employees (full- and part-time) that maintain a Group Health Plan must provide the Initial Notification of COBRA Rights to each employee at the time the employee becomes covered by the plan, which is usually at the time of hire.
12. Anti-Harassment/Retaliation Training. Have employees sign a form acknowledging the date of completion of such training. If they complete the training online, make sure that the company receives a copy of the certificate of completion and saves it in the personnel file.
* For a complete list of hiring forms or to ensure an up to date compliance, consult with an employment attorney.
Leiza Dolghih is the founder of Dolghih Law Group PLLC. She is board certified in labor and employment law and has 16+ years of experience in commercial and employment litigation, including trade secrets and non-compete disputes. You can contact her directly at email@example.com or (214) 531-2403.