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New Hire Paperwork and Compliance for Hawaii

A comprehensive guide for Hawaii employers to successfully onboard new hires.

Anna Coucke

by Anna Coucke - February 16th, 2024


Aloha! You've found the perfect employee and their first day is almost here – but what about all that paperwork you need to get an order?

Managing new hire paperwork and compliance in Hawaii doesn’t have to be complicated. This comprehensive guide breaks down the most important elements of onboarding and compliance for new hires in Hawaii, including Form I-9 and W-4 requirements, state-specific regulations, and best practices for streamlining the onboarding process.

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New Hire Paperwork in Hawaii

The onboarding process starts the moment you hire employees (or even before!). So, it pays to be familiar with Hawaii's required new hire paperwork and regulations. This is not only important for compliance – it's also critical for a smooth, professional onboarding experience.

For the sake of organization and efficiency, it's often helpful to categorize paperwork and compliance into two categories: state and federal. Two federal documents must be completed during the onboarding process in every state.

Form I-9

Form I-9, required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), must be completed and signed within three days of the hire date. The purpose of this form is to verify identity and confirm that individuals have the legal right to work in the U.S.

Form W-4

Form W-4 determines the amount of federal income tax to be withheld from an employee's paychecks. This form must be completed by the employee and submitted to your HR or accounting department. The employee can update this form at any time if their tax situation changes.

In addition to the federal paperwork, state-specific documents and other requirements must be completed during the onboarding process in Hawaii. These include the following:

Hawaii Withholding Form

Hawaii has a state income tax, so you'll need all employees to fill out Form HW-4 in addition to the federal W-4 form. The employee must complete this form to ensure that the correct amount of state income tax is withheld from their paycheck.

Hawaii New Hire Reporting

Employers are required to report all new hires to the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) within 20 days of the hire date. Employers must submit a copy of the new hire’s HW-4 form to CSEA by mail, fax, or report the employee electronically through the CSEA website portal.

Unemployment Insurance Tax

Hawaii employers are required to pay a state unemployment insurance tax. This tax provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are laid off.

All employers must register with the Hawaii Unemployment Insurance Department and pay unemployment insurance tax based on the tax rate schedule.

Optional Hawaii Onboarding Documents

Aside from the required new hire paperwork, there are other important documents that you should consider providing to new hires to ensure they are fully informed about your company policies and procedures. 

Drug Testing Policies

Hawaii law allows employers to conduct random drug testing of employees. You should provide employees with information about your drug testing policies, if applicable, including the process and consequences of failing a test.

Paid and Sick Leave

Hawaii employers are not required to provide paid and sick leave, but many choose to do so. If you do, provide employees with information about your policies on paid leave, including the time an employee can accrue, how to request time off, and whether unused paid and sick leave can be rolled over to the next year.

Workers' Compensation

All employers in Hawaii must provide workers' compensation insurance to their employees. This insurance provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill while on the job. Providing employees with information about their rights and responsibilities under the workers' compensation system isn’t required, but is helpful in case they need to use it.

Anti-Discrimination Policies

It is illegal for Hawaii employers to discriminate against employees based on certain characteristics, including race, gender, and age. If you have policies in place, provide employees with information about your company's anti-discrimination policies, including how to report discrimination and what steps you will take to investigate and address any complaints.

Retirement Plans

If you offer retirement plans to your employees, such as 401(k)s or pensions, include information in their onboarding packet about the available options, including any matching contributions you may offer and how employees can enroll in a plan.

Onboarding Checklist for Jobs in Hawaii

Now that you have all the necessary paperwork in order, it's time to prepare for your new hire’s first day in the office.

To make sure their first day is impactful (not stressful), you can take some additional steps to get your new hires up to speed quickly and ready to make an impact.

Prepare an Onboarding Kit

Get everything organized by creating an onboarding kit packed with everything your new team member needs to hit the ground running. This kit can include essential documents and information such as:

  • Employee Handbook

  • Tax Forms

  • Benefits Information

  • Company-Specific Goodies: Brochures, swag, or anything else that showcases your unique culture and welcomes the new hire to the team.

Set the New Hire Up on Payroll

Once you have your onboarding kit ready, it's time to set your new hire up on payroll. This involves collecting their personal information and setting up their direct deposit information so they can start receiving their paychecks. Be sure to also provide them with information on any time tracking systems or other payroll-related software your organization uses.

Generate Access Codes & Key Cards

To ensure your new hire has access to all the tools and resources they need from day one, generate any necessary access codes and key cards for your workplace. This may include things like building access codes or logins for various software programs they'll need to use.

Introduce Them to the Team

It's important that your new hire feels welcomed into your workplace, so be sure to introduce them to everyone on the team. This includes their immediate co-workers and members of other teams they may interact with. Take the time to explain each person's role and how they fit into the bigger picture.

Give Them an Office Tour

Finally, give your new hire a tour of your office and show them where everything is located. This includes where the break room is, where they can find the restroom, and navigating the office layout. Ensuring your new hire feels comfortable and confident in their new surroundings is key to a successful onboarding process.

Follow Up With New Hires

Once your new hire is settled and up to speed, follow up with them regularly to see how they're doing. Be sure to ask for feedback on their onboarding experience and how you can improve. This will help you improve your onboarding process and show your new hires that you value their input and care about their success.

Streamline Your Onboarding Process

As an HR professional, you may already know how essential a well-organized onboarding process is. Streamlining your onboarding will improve your employees' impression of your company, boost team efficiency and productivity, and make for a better work environment overall.

GoCo’s employee onboarding software allows you to customize each step of the onboarding process for a personalized experience. Our digitized documents, simplified workflows, and self-service benefits enrollment make the onboarding process a breeze and set your employees up for success.

With GoCo, you can confidently navigate Hawaii's onboarding paperwork and compliance requirements, giving you new hires who feel valued and empowered to make an impact on your organization from the beginning.

Take a tour today to see how you can enhance your company’s onboarding (and so much more) with GoCo!

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