When employers hire employees, numerous governmental forms must be completed and collected. Some forms are required to be submitted to governmental agencies, but some are simply to be held within an employee’s personnel file.

Form I-9 is used to verify employment eligibility and is required by the Department of Homeland Security – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. There are portions that need to be completed by the employee and some by the employer. On the form, an employee must attest to their employment eligibility by presenting acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) that an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the employee. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form. Employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers. It is best kept all of the company’s employees’ I-9s in a file just for I-9 forms rather than in the employees’ individual personnel files. This way if the federal government comes to inquire as the the company’s I-9s you have them all in one place and the employer is not giving the government more info than they are asking for.  Note the anti-discrimination notice at the top of the form.

W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, is required to be completed by the employee. The information received from this form will assist the payroll department as to how much to withhold in taxes. W-4s remain in effect until a new one is executed. The W-4 is for employer use only and does not get remitted to the IRS.

Pennsylvania New Hire Reporting Form, Department of Labor & Industry. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 along with Pennsylvania’s Act 58 of 1997 requires all employers to report certain information on their newly-hired employees to a designated state agency (DoLI). This document needs to be completed and filed within 20 days of hire, although I know of no penalty for late filings. Information required includes an employee’s social security number, date of birth, address, and date of hire. The document is used by DoLI to curb fraudulent unemployment claims and obtain child support.


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To the extent possible under law, Samantha Prince has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Entrepreneurship Law: Company Creation, except where otherwise noted.