The Secret to Hiring Employees

Hiring a new employee is always a time of excitement and possibilities.  Whether it is your first or hundredth, it is crucial that you get it right.  There are a few legal hoops you need to jump through to start the relationship strongly and legally.

Paperwork: A few pieces of paperwork that required to hire a new employee.  The employer needs a properly – completed W-4, which allows it to correctly withhold federal income taxes, and a correctly completed I-9, which demonstrates the employee is able to work in the United States.  The I-9 forms are the subject of audit where by penalties can accrue quickly for issues which may appear arbitrary or minor.

  • If the new employee is not located in Texas, you may have to withhold state or local income taxes and file corresponding tax forms for those localities.

  • In most states, including Texas, you are required to notify the State you have hired an employee to allow them to match child support and other legal obligations with the new hire.

Handbook: While an employer is not required to have a handbook, it can be incredibly useful to make sure the employees are aware of the company’s rules, processes and procedures. A useful handbook cites appropriate and current laws which apply and are followed by the company.  A handbook downloaded from the internet, written with reference to another state’s laws, that is out of date, and/or which has processes that are not being followed by the company, is not a cost-saving measure which will provide benefits.  In fact, a lousy handbook can be more dangerous than no handbook at all.  When our firm is asked to handle an unemployment claim or other employee dispute, and we can utilize the client’s handbook to demonstrate clear rules and policies which were not followed, the results are always more positive than when there were no clear rules on which they rely.

Deduction Form: Under both Texas and Federal law, an employer cannot deduct amounts from an employee’s pay which are not specially allowed by law or consented to by the employee.  A form signed by the employee which acknowledges items which can be deducted from their pay will reduce the risk of future litigation or a claim to the Texas Workforce Commission.

There are several other forms which may be useful depending on the employee’s job responsibilities, location, and job duties.

When an employer has taken the time to provide its new employee with clear and updated documents, it starts off the employment relationship on the right foot.