Incorrect forms completion can put your company at risk.From fines, penalties, and employee litigation, to a tarnished employer brand and more.
Despite the hazards, onboarding is still an area where many companies still rely on paper forms or manual processes, which:
- Takes the employee out of the workplace
- Saddles HR with mundane tasks and takes them away from strategic planning
- Slows the time it takes to get a new hire contributing to the company
- Compounds the risk of errors and noncompliance
Today’s HR organization is caught between having a smaller department and needing to reduce costs on the one hand, while meeting increasingly complex compliance demands on the other.
The answer is an onboarding system with automated document management to create a smoother workflow, boost engagement, enhance company performance, reduce risk of noncompliance, and save HR dollars.
Noncompliance and Onboarding
Where can compliance go wrong? In more areas of onboarding than you think.
Compliance comes into play in the information you give new hires about workplace privacy or other legal issues; any of the paperwork around job acceptance and pay agreement; work regulations; tax and identification forms; company badges; company email accounts; and more.
Some of the areas most at risk of noncompliance during onboarding are:
Gathering the seven points of personal information.
Organizations are required to report specific personal information to state agencies under thePersonal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) — identical to the information collected on the federal Form W-4. A full checklist is available at this link.
Tax withholding and eligibility forms.
The IRS and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security require all new hires to verify their eligibility to work in the country. Within their first 48 hours on the job, a new hire must complete two forms: a W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and an I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Many states also require their own version of the W-4, or offer it as an option for calculating state income tax withholding.
State-specific new hire notification requirements.
This includes wage notification, paid sick leave, and maternity leave. These requirements:
- Are difficult to track and often ambiguous
- Must be implemented correctly to protect your organization
- Are compounded by confusion and risk for for multi-jurisdictional employers
- Often change depending on unique state regulations (see examples)
Leave and accommodation laws.
For example, Rhode Island recently passed pregnancy accommodation legislation: Employers must extend specific rights to employees who have a condition related to pregnancy or childbirth; compliance requires employers to notify new hires of their expanded rights.
Paid/ earned sick leave.
For example, Oregon and Massachusetts have implemented new sick leave laws that include notification requirements, and other states introduced legislation to pass similar requirements (source: Corporate Compliance Insights).
The Cost of Getting It Wrong
What can mistakes cost you? More than you might imagine. Accuracy is the cornerstone of forms compliance, but employers are human. Mistakes happen. Unfortunately, inaccuracy at any point in the process can result in fines, penalties, or even employee litigation.
Where can threats come from? More places than you think.
Modern onboarding increases retention and accelerates productivity.
Stop settling for just “OK” onboarding.