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New Hire Paperwork and Compliance for Iowa

Learn the crucial aspects of Iowa employment compliance, onboarding paperwork, and new hire requirements with this guide.


When welcoming a new member to your Iowa-based company, there's much more to do than hand them a badge and a network login. You also need to set an example of diligence. That starts with ensuring you both submit all necessary onboarding paperwork.

Onboarding paperwork gets new hires registered and ready for federal and state demands, but which ones do they need to do first?

To help you and your new hires avoid complications, we have listed all the mandatory new hire paperwork that Iowa and the federal government demand.

By reading through each of these, you can ensure the onboarding process is robust and comprehensive. If you think this is all a bit much, we have a solution for you that we will discuss before the end of the article.

Forms That You Must Complete

The first major step to integrating a new hire is crossing the t's and dotting the i's on all the forms you need to give them. This is not a box-ticking exercise, but it helps set the stage for a transparent relationship between you, them, and the government.

Download The Ultimate Onboarding Checklist

Form I-9 - Employment Eligibility Verification

This document is a part of the federal new hire reporting process. It demands that you take steps to verify the identity of any employee you bring on board within three days.

Make sure you understand what are acceptable documents, too. This will help you avoid accidental discrimination. As per federal guidelines, you must also keep a copy of these forms even after the employee leaves the company.

Form W-4 - Employee's Withholding Certificate

These tax forms help define the amount of tax your payroll system needs to withhold. Employees can tailor their form to befits specific financial scenarios. In doing this, they help you ensure your payroll is accurate.

Each time an employee submits a new form, such as if they wish to change the amount you withhold, you should update your system. Do not discard the old forms, though, as the IRS may ask for information on these.

IRS Form W-2 - Wage and Tax Statement

This reports an employee wage total and the taxes you withheld to the federal authorities. If you are close to the end of the tax year, add your new employee to the list of W-2 forms you must complete. Then, give it to the new hire before January 31st.

Remember that you must also file these with the Social Security Administration, along with Form W-3.

DHS - New Hire Reporting

You must report the existence of new hires to your state's directory soon after they join your company. In Iowa, this is within 20 days of hiring them and includes anyone you pay over $600 each year.

The Iowa government has an online portal you can use to report this, making it easier on you. Still, with so many systems, it can get overwhelming. This is why having a powerful cloud service to handle all these documents can be a weight off your shoulders, allowing you to perform other tasks.

State of Iowa Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate (IA W-4)

On top of federal income tax, employees must fill in form IA W-4 to inform you of the amount of state income tax you must withhold. Along with many of these other forms, you need to keep hold of this for recordkeeping purposes moving forward.

44-095 - Iowa Withholding Return Form

Complete this form to report and pay any withheld tax to the Iowa authorities. The employee will not need to fill this one in.

You may only need to complete it straight away in specific circumstances. For example, you may need to act more urgently if it is coming up to the last day of the month following the end of a calendar quarter.

Forms That You May Need to Complete

While some forms are mandatory, others will depend on the specific circumstances of the hire, for example, when they came on board. In some cases, they will need to fill in some documents as soon as they join, while in other cases, these can wait.

IRS Form 940

This is the federal Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. You must fill this out each year, especially if the deadline is approaching soon after a new hire.

File it with the IRS along with any unpaid taxes, and if your annual liability is over $500, you must pay quarterly.

IRS Form 941

This is the Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return. You use this to report income taxes you withhold from an employee's paycheck. If you are coming up to the end of a quarter, you may need to do this soon after a new hire.

Confirming Compliance

The following is a list of steps to complete after bringing on a new employee to ensure you follow local and federal regulations. Complying with these makes a statement about your values, integrity, and commitment to your employees. By performing all necessary steps to follow these laws, you show that the welfare of your workers is important to you.

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

To ensure you follow new hire compliance rules, you must offer health coverage that meets ACA standards. You must also report coverage information to the IRS and inform an employee of their benefits.

Employee Eligibility Via E-Verify

You need to use the Iowa E-Verify system to confirm any new hires are eligible to work in the United States. You may only need to do this if you are in a federal workplace.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

If you offer a pension or health plan, you need to provide anyone participating with its information. You also need to establish and communicate an appeals and grievance process as it relates to ERISA.

Federal Wage and Hour Laws

You must ensure you follow the federal:

  • Minimum wage rules

  • Overtime pay regulations

  • Recordkeeping laws and best practices

  • Minor employment standards.

For more information on these, check the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Iowa Wage and Hour Laws

Much like the federal rules, Iowa has its own information on wage laws and child labor regulations. You must also ensure you provide employees with a statement of earnings. Iowa also has state rules related to minors and break-time regulations you need to be aware of.

Paperwork You Must Provide

The following are some of the pieces of essential information you are federally obligated to provide a new worker. On top of this, though, it establishes trust and sets expectations of employee welfare between you and any recent hire.

Emergency Numbers and Evacuation Routes

By informing employees of emergency contacts and evacuation routes, you help secure their safety. Federal laws state that this is imperative to safeguard anyone you hire.

Family and Medical Leave Act Notice

The FMLA notice allows new workers to understand their entitlements when it comes to unpaid and/or job-protected leave. These must be for family or medical reasons, though, so ensure any employee knows what this means for them.

Federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act Notice

While this only relates to federal employment, it is an important notice of a new hire's rights. The new employee must understand that employers cannot use lie detector tests for any reason.

Federal Fair Labor Standards Act Notice

Employees need to understand the FLSA as far as it pertains to:

  • Minimum wage

  • Overtime pay

  • Child labor laws

Failure to inform employees of their rights can often leave a company liable should they not follow said regulations.

Notice of Coverage Options under the ACA

As all employees receive coverage from the Affordable Care Act, this document allows them to understand what this means. They can learn about their rights to coverage and how to access it should they need to.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Notice

You must either pass on documentation or display public information related to employees' rights to a safe workplace. This document should also include details of how to report hazards, as well as assurances about a lack of retaliation for taking such action.

Other Notices

On top of the above, there are also several other notices an employee must receive information on. Each one details a new hire's rights and ensures you do not face liability for not informing them of their options. These include:

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Accommodation Notice

  • Right to Work / E-Verify Notice

  • Smoking Policy Notice

  • Unemployment Insurance Notice

  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act Notice

  • Workers' Compensation Notice

Handling Onboarding Paperwork Without Hassle

That might be a lot of onboarding paperwork and documents, but they are important to ensure compliance for your business. There is an easier way to handle all this without nearly as much difficulty. GoCo can help you get started.

We understand the intricacies of ensuring new hires have everything they need and managing documents from day one. Our HR software can handle everything from compliance to payroll and more besides. So, take a tour of what we offer and learn how you can make HR easier for your company today.

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