Starting a job is often stressful, but an employer can ease the stress a bit by offering a comprehensive new-hire packet – a bundle of written materials that contain tax forms, notices, company procedures, and other information to help the new hire acclimate to the company and begin their onboarding process. A new employee should receive and review their new-hire packet before starting work or on their first day. 

Below are some suggested elements for a new-hire packet, as well items required by federal and Arizona law.

General Items to Consider Including

Welcome Letter: This short, simple letter should welcome the new employee, state that everyone is happy to have them on board, and provide a brief outline of the company’s mission.

Application Forms(s): Include copies of any application forms the new employee completed previously. These should provide the employee’s contact information, date of birth, and emergency contact.

Job Description: Include a description of the job and a work schedule. Also consider including performance evaluation criteria and a copy of the employee’s resume. This documentation could help eliminate disagreements over job responsibilities and expectations later. 

Company Directory: Because the new employee will probably know few people at the company, including a directory of all personnel. Consider highlighting the individuals he or she is most likely to work with. Along with the directory, include an office map to make it easier for the employee to get around. 

Employee Handbook: Every company should have an employee handbook that outlines company policies and procedures. Be sure to include this in the new-employee packet, along with a form to sign showing they received it.

Consent Form for Background Checks and/or Drug Tests: Any company that conducts background checks or drug tests must notify employees and obtain consent beforehand. Include this form in the new-hire packet if consent was not obtained during interviews.

Company Benefits: Provide a statement of company benefits, including a summary of health insurance options, paid time off, 401(k) contributions, tuition reimbursement, disability insurance, gym membership, etc.

Direct Deposit Form: Include this if the company uses direct deposit for paychecks.

Non-Compete Agreement: If the company requires a non-compete agreement, this should be included in the new-hire packet for the employee’s signature. 

Confidentiality Agreement: Likewise, if the company requires a confidentiality agreement for employees who will be privy to trade secrets or other proprietary information, include this document.

Employee Equipment Inventory Lists: If the employee will be issued specific equipment to do their job, consider providing a list of that equipment so there is no misunderstanding as to what belongs to the company and what belongs to the employee.

Welcome Gifts: To lighten things up, provide welcome gifts with the company logo such as pens and a mug to make the new hire feel like they are part of the team. 

Federal Requirements

In addition to the items above, federal law requires certain things to be included in a new-hire packet or otherwise supplied to the employee when they begin work. 

Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9): An employer must submit an I-9 for every employee showing that the employee is legally authorized to work in the U.S. A new employee must bring proof of their identity on the first day of work or shortly thereafter and fill out the form. Note that compliance with the federal government’s E-Verify requirement is a separate obligation.

Employee’s Withholding Certificate (Form W-4): This federal tax form determines how much will be withheld from the employee’s paychecks to cover federal income taxes. Again, the employee will need to bring proof of identity and fill out this form.

Notice of Coverage Options: If a company is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act, it may have to provide new employees with a notice that outlines health care coverage options under the Affordable Care Act and health care options offered by the company, if any. 

Arizona-Specific Requirements

Arizona requires a new-hired packet to include additional items.

An Employee’s Arizona Withholding Election Form (A-4): This form establishes how much should be withheld from an employee’s paychecks to cover Arizona taxes. 

A Notice of Withholdings: If you intend to withhold any money from an employee’s pay for the damage they may cause, then that needs to be spelled out in writing. 

Local Requirements: Local municipalities may have their own requirements for new-hire packets, so check the laws in the city where your business is located.

Contact Counxel Legal Firm

The above list is not exhaustive, and you may want to include other elements in a new-hire packet depending on your situation. If you would like to talk to an attorney about what a new-hire packet should contain or whether you need one at all, contact Counxel Legal Firm at 480-536-6122  or at

This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice for your specific situation. Use of and access to this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Counxel Legal Firm. Please contact or 480-536-6122 to request specific information for your situation.

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