What Personal Information Do I Need to Collect from New Hires?

From the documents you need, to what information you should avoid asking your employees, here’s all the onboarding personal information nuances.

onboarding personal information

Hiring employees, especially for the first time as a burgeoning small business, can be a daunting task. With strict government processes and contracts involved, complications are aplenty. Once your bases are covered you can integrate those new hires with ease. From the documents you need, to what information you should avoid asking your employees, we’ll detail all the onboarding personal information necessary.

What documents are required for employment?

When it comes to working in the United States, there are several documents that new hires can present to sign their new hire paperwork. “Under the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act,” NoLo explains, “new employees must present proof that they are legally authorized in the United States.” The I-9 form is the mandatory form for all new hires on their first day. It proves the employee’s identity and their eligibility to work in the United States.

The list of documents that can be used for the I-9 form include:

  • A United States passport
  • A foreign passport with an I-551 stamp
  • An alien registration card or a permanent resident stamp
  • An employment authorization card
  • An employment authorization document issued by the USCIS that includes a photograph
  • A foreign passport with a Form I-94 that includes an endorsement of nonimmigrant status

In the absence of one of these documents above, new hires can also submit a combination of any two of these documents in order to prove employment authorization:

  • A Social Security card
  • A U.S. Birth or birth abroad certificate
  • A Native American tribal document
  • A U.S. citizen I.D. card
  • A resident citizen I.D. card
  • An employment authorization documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security

To prove identity, new hires must present two of the following:

  • A U.S. or Canadian driver’s license with a photograph on it
  • A federal, state, or local identification card with a photograph on it
  • A school I.D. with a photograph
  • A U.S. military card or draft record
  • A military dependent’s I.D. card
  • A U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card
  • A Native American tribal document

It’s important to note that these documents must be valid. Presenting expired documents on the first day of employment will prohibit the hiring process.

What forms need to be filled out for new employees?

The documents above are required by the I-9, though the I-9 is only one of the necessary forms for new hires. In addition to the I-9, new hires will have to fill out a W-4 tax form that sets up tax withholding, allowing employers to withdraw taxes from employee paychecks. These forms will cover the majority of onboarding personal information that needs to be collected.

What information is illegal to ask for from your employees?

While there is a lot of onboarding personal information that is required to collect, employers should avoid asking some specific information to protect employees from discrimination. These details are illegal for employers to ask for:

  • An employee’s religion
  • An employee’s race
  • Whether or not an employee is pregnant
  • Whether or not an employee smokes, drinks, or uses drugs
  • If an employee has a disability
  • An employee’s age

As long as you have the necessary documents, you should be able to ease those new hires into your business seamlessly.


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