small business

Required Forms for New Hires in New York

What are the required forms for new hires in New York? If you are an employer in New York, there are several forms that you should have each of your new hires fill out under New York and federal law. The following post sets forth the required forms for new hires in New York.  If you need help with these, or any additional forms (like wage statement forms, performance improvement plans, offer letters, contracts, severance agreements, personnel manuals, etc.) we can help.  Call or e-mail us.  We have attorneys standing by.

Our firm drafts custom tailored documents for businesses throughout the country, and we do it on a flat fee basis - and can usually prepare your forms within 24-hours.  For a list of some of the documents we can prepare for you as well as pricing, click here.

  1. Form I-9, Eligibility to work in the United States. This is one of the required forms for new hires in New York. You must verify that each new employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. So, have each new employee you hire fill out a Form I-9. Here is a link to Form I-9 and the Employer Instructions: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-9.pdf

  2. Form W-2. This is one of the required forms for new hires in New York. You are required to get each employee's name and Social Security Number (SSN) and to enter them on Form W-2. (This requirement also applies to resident and nonresident alien employees.) You should ask your employee to show you his or her social security card. You may, but are not required to, photocopy the social security card if the employee provides it. Here is a link to a sample W-2: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw2.pdf. To e-file the W-2 and verify the name/SSN of employee via Social Security Administration, please visit: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/employer/

  3. Form W-4, wage Withholding Allowance Certificate. This is one of the required forms for new hires in New York. To know how much income tax to withhold from your employee's wages, you should have a Form W-4 on file for each employee. Ask all new employees to give you a signed Form W-4 when they start work. Make the form effective with the first wage payment. A Form W-4 remains in effect until the employee gives you a new one. Ifan employee claims exemption from income tax withholding, he must give you a new Form W-4 each year. If an employee gives you a Form W-4 that replaces an existing Form W-4, begin withholding no later than the start of the first payroll period ending on, or after the 30th day, from the date you received the replacement Form W-4. Here is a link to Form W-4: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

  4. Form IT-2104, Employer Allowance Certificate (NYS). This is one of the required forms for new hires in New York. This form must be completed to withhold New York State taxes, if working within New York state (depending on the employee’s withholding, IT-2104-1 or IT-2104-E must also be completed). Here is a link to Form IT-2104: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/it/it2104_fill_in.pdf. If the employee is a nonresident of New York, he needs to complete Form IT-2104-1: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/it/it2104_1_fill_in.pdf. And if the employee is claiming exemption from withholding for New York State personal income tax, he must complete Form IT-2104-E: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/it/it2104e_fill_in.pdf.

  5. IRS Form 940. You must file IRS Form 940 to report your federal unemployment tax for any year in which you paid wages of $1,500 or more in any quarter or for any year in which an employee worked for you in any 20 or more different weeks of the year.

  6. Report each new hire to state new hire reporting agency. General Information about new hire reporting: http://www.tax.ny.gov/bus/wt/newhire.htm. You can either report the new hire online (https://www.nynewhire.com/index.jsp) or mail in Form IT-2104 (online reporting or hard copy mailing info set forth at general info website above).

  7. Forms required by New York Labor Laws. There are other forms mandated by the New York Department of Labor. To see which forms are applicable to your business and employees, please visit: https://labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/LS53.pdf

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NY Small Business Employment Law Issues -- Restrictive Covenants

NY Small Business Employment Law Issues -- Restrictive Covenants Do you screen for restrictive covenants when hiring?  Failure to do so might cost you.  Effective screening during the hiring process can save you a lot of trouble in the future.  Frequently, new-hires are subject to restrictive covenants that you do not know about.  This can expose you to claims even if you were not aware that the employee was subject to a restrictive covenant.

These days, most companies look at departing employees’ computer logs when they receive a notice of departure.  By doing this, they can easily discern not only if the employee has breached his or her restrictive covenants, but also if such employee intends to do so.

You need to be proactive and organized in uncovering any restrictions that new-hires are subject to.  Do not just take a candidate’s word.  Inquire about all possible pre-existing non-disclosure agreement, intellectual property agreements, non-competes and non-solicits.  Contact an employment attorney to learn more about what you can do to safeguard your start-up against employment claims.

EEOC Helping Small Business Understand Employment Law

Small business owners are inundated with information regarding employment discrimination laws.  It is hard enough to run a small business, let alone learn what each law requires of you.  Whereas large corporations can afford teams of expert lawyers, most small business owners do not have the same resources. The good news for small business owners is that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has launched a small business task force to help small business  owners comply with federal employment laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act, Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.

According to the EEOC task force, it will explore the following issues:

  • How to reach out to small businesses using new technology
  • How to develop technical assistance and training initiatives for small businesses
  • Finding ways to help small businesses owned by minorities and by women
  • Finding the best ways to assist businesses who employ 50 or fewer people
  • How to improve the information and training available on the EEOC's website

To provide input on any of these issues, you can send an email to smallbusiness@eeoc.gov, or write a letter to EEOC Small Business Task Force, 131 M Street NE, Washington, DC 20507.

If you own a New York Startup or New York small business, please contact us -- we can help your business avoid its exposure to an employment lawsuit.

 

Small Business Employment Law Advice

NY Employment Lawyers - Small business employment law:

How to avoid discrimination claims in the hiring process for small businesses:

  1. Whenever possible, make sure to have job announcements and employment applications reviewed by an attorney before they are used.
  2. Include only job-related information in an employment application.
  3. Note on the application that your company has an anti-discrimination policy and that employment is “at will,” meaning it may be terminated by the employer or employee at any time for any reason.
  4. All job qualifications and requirements must be job related (e.g. skills, experience), not personal (political views, age, gender, etc.), and presented in formal job descriptions.
  5. Keep job interviews within a well-drafted outline.  Don't ask questions about personal matters.
  6. Do not cite specific reasons for not hiring an employee in turn-down letters.  Less is more.

This is the first in our series designed for small businesses.  We will continue this series of small business employment law advice in subsequent posts.

Please contact us if you have any employment law questions about your small business in New York or New Jersey.

Wage & Hour Employment Law for NY Small Business

Small business owners in New York are often so inundated with the day-to-day hustle of increasing revenue, marketing, and actually working, that they often overlook federal and state wage and hour laws.  But be warned: failure to properly pay employees can significantly harm your business.  However, a few simple pointers will go a long way towards avoiding a devastating wage and hour class action: First, pay your employees the minimum wage.  Sounds easy enough.  The minimum wage in New York and New Jersey is $7.25/hour.  But there’s a bill in New Jersey to increase the minimum wage to $8.50/hour (see this prior blog entry).   And make sure to pay the minimum wage for all hours worked (and see this entry).

Also, as we’ve previously discussed, classify your employees correctly (see this entry).  In terms of classifying your employees as exempt or non-exempt from overtime pay, it is advisable to err on the side of non-exempt.  And don’t think that just because you give an employee a title like “manager” it changes anything -- titles are meaningless and what matters is the nature of the work that the employee actually performs (for more detailed information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime_pay.htm).  The same goes with respect to classifying your employees as employees or independent contractors -- err on the side of employee.  To be an independent contractor, the individual must be truly “independent” (e.g., is available to work for other employers, uses his/her own materials, sets his/her own hours, etc. but for more detailed information, please see http://www.comptroller.ilstu.edu/downloads/20-factor-test-for-independent-contractors.pdf).

Keep good records.  It is worth investing in an automated system which tracks employees hours worked and all compensation paid to employees.  This way you can prove exactly how much a given employee worked and how much he or she was paid for their time.

The last point is probably the most obvious of all:  it is better to be safe than sorry.  The potential damages in wage and hour actions can be financially devastating to a small business -- you are better off treating your employees as non-exempt, paying them for all time worked, and when necessary contacting an employment lawyer, than defending a legal battle that will likely not end well.

If you are a small business owner in NY and have any employment law questions, please contact us for a free initial consultation.