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New Hire Paperwork and Compliance for Mississippi

A comprehensive guide to onboarding paperwork and compliance for Mississippi employers.

Anna Coucke

by Anna Coucke - April 3rd, 2024

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Onboarding new hires is exciting, but navigating the required legal requirements and paperwork can make it feel more like a chore. For employers in Mississippi, specific regulations must be followed to ensure a smooth and compliant onboarding process.

This guide will equip you with the knowledge and resources needed to conquer Mississippi new hire onboarding. We'll explore essential paperwork, new hire reporting procedures, and recommended best practices to help your new hires hit the ground running.

Mandatory Onboarding Paperwork in Mississippi

Employers must complete specific mandatory paperwork when hiring new employees in any state, and Mississippi is no different. These documents are essential for tax reporting, verification, and employment records.

Let's take a closer look at these forms and their place in the new hire process.

Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires Form I-9 in order to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all new hires.

Section 1 is completed by employees on their first day of work, and employers must finish Section 2 within three business days.

Form W-4 (Employee's Withholding Certificate)

This form is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to determine federal income tax withholding. 

New hires must complete this form to specify their withholding allowances, which affects the amount of federal income tax deducted from their pay.

Form 89-350 (Mississippi State Withholding Allowance Certificate)

Since Mississippi has a state individual income tax, a separate tax form must be completed in order to determine state income tax withholding. This form, known as 89-350, should be completed by the employee at the same time as the federal W-4 and retained by the employer.

Mississippi Employer Requirements

New hire paperwork isn't the only aspect of new hire compliance. Employers in Mississippi must fulfill some additional requirements.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Employers in every state must obtain a federal tax ID, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), from the IRS for tax purposes before beginning to hire employees. Employers will also need to apply for a separate state EIN through Mississippi’s Taxpayer Access Point.

New Hire Reporting

Mississippi requires employers to report all new hires, rehires, and temporary employees to the Department of Human Services within seven business days. Employers can report electronically through the State Directory of New Hires.

This report requires the following employee information:

  • Employee's Name (First, Middle, Last)

  • Employee's Mailing Address

  • Employee's Social Security Number (SSN)

  • Employee's Date of Hire

  • Employee's Date of Birth

  • Gender

  • Salary

  • Payment Frequency

  • Medical Insurance Eligibility

It also requires the following employer information:

  • Employer's Federal Employer Identification Number 

  • Employer's Name

  • Employer's Address

  • Employer's State EIN

Compliance with the New Hire Reporting Program is crucial, and failure to report new hires can result in penalties and legal consequences.

Best Practices for Onboarding Employees in Mississippi

Building a successful organization requires efficient and compliant hiring practices. Here are some key areas to focus on when hiring new employees in Mississippi.

Pre-Employment Screening

Although it is not a state requirement, conducting thorough background checks, reference checks, and drug testing (when necessary) will help ensure the qualification of your workforce.

If your organization conducts these checks, it must carefully follow federal and state regulations (outlined below) in order to avoid discrimination and privacy concerns.

Equal Opportunity Employment

In hiring and employment, ensure that your organization upholds equal opportunity practices and avoids discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Be sure you are familiar with federal and state anti-discrimination laws including Mississippi’s 2022 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws.

Employee Classification

Be sure to accurately classify your employees as exempt or non-exempt, as misclassification can lead to legal repercussions and expensive financial penalties. If you are unsure about classifications, consult with legal counsel or the FLSA.

Employee Handbook and Policies

Many organizations create an employee handbook that outlines company policies, procedures, and employee expectations. You should distribute this to new hires and obtain confirmation that the employee has read and understands the handbook to help prevent future disputes or confusion.

Record Keeping

Once a new hire is successfully onboarded, be sure to maintain accurate records of all employment-related documents, including applications, offer letters, I-9 forms, W-4 forms, and tax records. Ensure compliance with federal and Mississippi state laws regarding employer record retention.

Following these best practices can help Mississippi employers establish a compliant and efficient hiring and onboarding process that will make the process easier to navigate for everyone.

How GoCo Supports Mississippi Employee Onboarding

Now that you are familiar with the basics of onboarding new hires in Mississippi, you may be wondering how you can simplify your onboarding process. Mississippi employers can gain more confidence in hiring and onboarding compliance with HR software that keeps everything organized and eliminates much of the guesswork.

GoCo supports state-specific hiring by staying up-to-date with current and evolving regulations for paperwork, reporting, and other legal implications in Mississippi. Plus, our intuitive onboarding software makes the entire onboarding process a delight for employers and new hires alike.

Want to see it for yourself? Take a free tour of GoCo today to see how we can transform your onboarding and other HR processes — including performance management, time tracking, and more!

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