Meeting New Hire Compliance Requirements in the Public Sector

by Mike Tannian on July 14, 2022

Onboarding a new employee? Learn what your public sector organization needs to do to maintain onboarding compliance with new hire reporting requirements.

Article Highlights

As a public sector organization, you understand the need to maintain compliance with standards set in place by government agencies. These requirements exist to protect the interests of the public, whether through maintaining transparent records, advancing equal treatment under the law, or facilitating efficient use of public resources. 

New hire reporting is no different. Agencies must take certain actions to maintain onboarding compliance with state and federal employment laws. These compliance programs help governments do things like collect taxes or establish a person’s right to work. Failing to meet these onboarding compliance requirements could result in fines or other penalties for employers.  

In this article, learn about the specific state and federal new hire reporting requirements you should be aware of, including training for new employees. Then, find out how you can maintain onboarding compliance for your organization with Onboard, NEOGOV’s HR onboarding software. 

Problem: Meeting New Hire Compliance Requirements

Before we dive too deeply into state and federal compliance requirements, it’s important to understand: what is onboarding compliance? 

In short, new hire reporting requirements are a set of obligations organizations must meet when onboarding a new employee. This largely involves collecting important information from a new hire (for example, their name, address, email address, and Social Security number) and reporting it to the appropriate government agencies. Some organizations may also be required to hold specific trainings for new hires, depending on the new employee’s position and work location. 

Completing these hire reports ensures an organization acts in accordance with state and federal government regulations. Let’s discuss the onboarding compliance requirements (and each requirement’s reporting purpose) you should be aware of as a public organization. 

Federal new hire reporting requirements: I9 and W4

You’re likely familiar with some federal new hire compliance requirements, though you might not know why they’re so important. Two forms, in particular, are fundamental to any onboarding process: 

  1. W4 new hire form
  2. I9 new hire form 

Employees must complete a W-4 form before receiving their first paycheck. This form determines how much an employer should withhold from the new employee’s paycheck for federal income tax withholding. The IRS states that organizations must withhold taxes as indicated on the W-4 “no later than the start of the first payroll period ending on or after the 30th day from the date that you received the revised Form W-4.”

The I-9 form helps employers verify whether newly hired and re-hired employees are legally authorized to work in the United States. This form must be completed within three business days of the first day an employee begins to work for pay. 

E-Verify is a system run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that serves as an I-9 employment eligibility verification platform. E-Verify ensures the information listed on a new employee’s I-9 is accurate and aligns with available records from the DHS and Social Security Administration. E-Verify is required in some states but not all. 

Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act 

Next is a requirement you may not be as familiar with: the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). The PRWORA established a national new hire reporting program to help states collect child support payment from parents who are avoiding their child support obligation. 

The PRWORA requires employers to report to their state every time they hire a new employee. This includes reporting information collected from the W-4 form, such as: 

  • An employee’s name, address, and Social Security number 
  • Date of hire (the first day an employee receives compensation for work) 
  • Employer name, employer address, and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)

States use this new hire reporting program to review every relevant child support record and determine whether they need to impose a child support collection on an employee’s wages. According to Federal law, employers must submit this information within 20 days of hiring a new employee, though some states have more strict requirements

State new hire reporting requirements

Some of the documentation discussed above, including information that allows organizations to maintain compliance with PRWORA, must be submitted to state agencies. The laws themselves, however, are federally-mandated. 

That said, individual states may also have specific new hire reporting needs and laws. This may include a more condensed timeline for when employers are required to report on the new hire information above. Because new hire reporting requirements by state vary, every public organization should do thorough research to ensure they collect all required information from a new hire.

Types of new hire compliance training 

In addition to completing each new hire reporting requirement above, your organization also needs to host new hire compliance training. Some trainings are required by state and federal government entities. 

The table below outlines general information about training compliance programs that exist at the state and federal levels. 

Type of Training

Onboarding Training Compliance Requirements

Anti-harassment training

  • All states encourage or recommend some form of anti-harassment training. 
  • Some states, such as Florida, require this training for all public sector employees within 30 days of hire. 
  • At least six states require anti-harassment training for all employers.

Diversity and inclusion training

  • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission strongly recommends a workplace diversity component in all employer training.

Cybersecurity training

  • The Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) requires that all federal employees complete annual cybersecurity training. 
  • Many states require some form of cybersecurity training, especially for state government employees.

Data protection and privacy training

  • Individuals who work with protected health information (for example, administering a State Medicaid program) must complete Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance training. 

Workplace safety training

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires that employees working in the private sector receive workplace safety training. 
  • 22 states have specific OSHA-approved occupational safety programs that cover public sector employees in addition to the private sector. 
  • Six states have OSHA-approved plans that apply solely to state and local government employees. 

 

Your organization may also have compliance training requirements unique to your agency or a new employee’s job title or job description. Your organization likely includes this training in your typical onboarding process, which can be a great way to showcase your company culture to new hires. 

Solution: Maintain Onboarding Compliance with NEOGOV

It can feel overwhelming to keep up with so many onboarding compliance requirements. Fortunately, NEOGOV’s Onboard can help. Our HR onboarding software provides a central hub for tracking all new hire reporting requirements

Completing required paperwork 

Using Onboard, HR professionals can assign new employees a set of specific new hire compliance tasks to complete. This includes filling out specific forms, like the W4 and I9, as well as completing the compliance training mentioned above. While training can’t be completed directly in Onboard (that’s where the Learn integration comes in), it can be tracked via tasks and acknowledgement forms.

Our software also prevents new hires from submitting an incomplete form, thereby helping your organization ensure it has all the information it needs to report. 

Plus, you never have to worry about outdated forms. NEOGOV actively manages I9 and W4 forms to ensure new hires have access to only the most recent/updated compliance forms. This includes disabling outdated forms so employees don’t accidentally fill out the wrong items. 

Onboard also has an E-Verify integration. Using information that employees enter into the I-9 form, employers can quickly verify employment eligibility. This means you can quickly open and close cases all within the same platform. Similarly, you don’t have to re-enter information, thereby decreasing the likelihood of data entry errors. 

Other benefits 

When new employees are ready to complete their onboarding items, they can simply log into a central self-service portal. They are greeted with a welcome message and an easy-to-see checklist. As employees work through their new hire compliance checklist, HR professionals can track onboarding compliance progress within the portal.  

The best part? This all takes place before an employee even attends new hire orientation

HR professionals can also send reporting program information to relevant parties, including state and federal government agencies. Additionally, employers can export forms to send to other third parties, like benefit providers and insurance companies.

To sum it up, HR onboarding software like Onboard enables professionals to:

  1. Ensure compliance by automating, assigning, and tracking new hire paperwork 
  2. Encourage new hires to review compliance resources and complete necessary paperwork and training before their first day of employment
  3. Save time by centralizing all reporting requirement information for your reporting team (and guaranteeing that nothing falls through the cracks!) 

Final Thoughts

Meeting each reporting requirement for state and federal agencies doesn’t have to be a headache. HR onboarding software like Onboard can help you maintain onboarding compliance without the stress. To learn more about how NEOGOV’s solutions designed specifically for the public sector can help your organization, schedule a free demo today.

Mike Tannian

Mike Tannian is the Director of Content Marketing at NEOGOV. With a talented team of writers by his side, he aims to produce content that delivers real value to public sector HR professionals at every stage in the buying journey.