A New Year’s Resolution – Make sure you have the employment forms you need.


By Sheralee S. Hurwitz

Employers, large and small, need various employment forms to document employment-related events or to be filed as required by various regulations and laws. There are forms for new hires, forms to comply with federal and state government requirements, and forms that are useful for day-to-day administrative tasks. Proper record-keeping allows employers to show that they complied with applicable employment laws. Standard forms improve the likelihood that those forms will be used by supervisors, and that policies will be enforced consistently. Employment forms should be included in an employee’s personnel file, where appropriate or required by law. Some forms, however, should be maintained by the employer in a separate file location.

A word of caution; many templates are available, but they may not meet the needs of a particular employer or workplace. Consultation with a knowledgeable employment lawyer or accredited human resources professional is an important part of developing the correct forms for appropriate employment record-keeping.

The following is a checklist (not exhaustive!) of forms commonly used in most work environments.

• Employment Handbook or Employee Policy Manual
• Required Employment Related Postings or Notices
• Job Descriptions
• Employment application form
• Reference Check form
• Other applicable pre-hiring documents (if desired and where appropriate)

o Driver’s record check
o Police record check
o Drug testing check

• Health insurance (and other benefits) election and other forms
• Employee Handbook Acknowledgement
• At-Will Employment Acknowledgement (if applicable)
• I-9 form
• W-2 forms
• Employment Agreements (if applicable)

o Confidentiality, Trade Secret and Non-Disclosure (as needed)
o Health care related (as needed)

• Disciplinary report forms
• Safety records and reporting forms
• Attendance/tardiness records
• Leave documentation forms

o Family and Medical Leave Act forms (if the Act applies to the employer)
o Return to Work forms (if employment policies permit/require)

• Other status change forms (for wage changes, transfers, other job changes to record)
• Payroll records
• Performance Appraisal or Evaluation forms
• Performance Improvement Plan forms
• Termination forms
• Exit interview forms (if desired and properly used)
• Unemployment Insurance forms
• Workers’ Compensation Forms and or/records

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