Employers: Best Practices for State-Required Forms

HR professionals know there are many challenges associated with state new hire forms. Here are five state-required forms best practices to help you reach your onboarding-related compliance goals.

Assess and Monitor

As a first step, you'll need to assess your current onboarding processes to make sure you're complying  with current state laws. Conduct a thorough review of the existing new hire requirements in each state where you do business.

Given the constantly changing environment of state-required notifications, keeping processes up-to-date is essential.

Your organization also needs to implement a process to monitor and track new and updated legislation, as well as updates to notice templates. You can subscribe to compliance updates from law firms to stay abreast of legislative changes or hire internal or external legal counsel to monitor for you.

Another tip in this area is to be sure you're not just relying on one person. Build a safety net for the person who manages this process. For instance, if another department within your company is doing similar work, you can stay connected with someone in that group.

Lastly, be sure your process allows you to implement changes quickly. Sometimes there is very little time from when notification templates are issued and the time employers must use them. Moreover, in some cases the notification templates have been published after the date they are required to be used. And in other cases, templates are not provided at all.

Get Specific

You don't necessarily want to look for a one-size-fits-all approach related to state new hire notifications. State laws can vary; therefore, you don't want a notification that's too broad to capture those differences. An overly generic strategy can, in fact, create risk.

Instead, your organization should develop a specific strategy for each state in which you do business.

Moreover, if a state does publish a notification template, you should use that template. The state will look for that document in case of an audit.

Build an Audit Strategy

It's one thing to build processes, but you also need to know whether your people are following those processes. Regular self-audits and a detailed audit trail of your new hire notifications can help:

  • Uncover potential problem areas
  • Show good-faith efforts
  • Demonstrate compliance
  • Support defense during litigation
  • Fulfill requests during an audit

Keep It Together

Documents can be misplaced, especially in organizations with multiple locations. This can pose a problem in cases of an audit or litigation; if you cannot produce a document, you cannot prove it was delivered to an employee. A centralized storage system makes it easier to produce the documents signed by the employee when you need them.

Additionally, centralized document retention helps keep the PII employee information more secure.

Go Digital

One way to simplify the process for new hires and hiring managers is to use an automated system. This helps with both audit trails and centralization, and helps monitor new legislation and keep forms up-to-date. In addition, it adds security to the process because people who don't need 24/7 access to these documents don't have that access level. If you do search for an automated system, be sure to look for a solution that:

  • Integrates with your onboarding and talent management systems
  • Provides controlled and secure access 24/7
  • Captures electronic signatures
  • Offers secure storage and retention
  • Creates a detailed audit trail

The State Onboarding Compliance Solution from Equifax can help with state forms compliance goals and also help:

  • Get the right form
  • In the right format
  • Delivered to the right employee
  • With the right tracking

Register for a demo of our Compliance Center portal to learn more about efficiently managing onboarding - including state required new hire forms - across multiple locations.