Start the New Year Off on the Right Foot!

By May 1st, 2018HR Blog

By Jennifer Jacobus, PHR-CA, SHRM-CP, SDEA

IMG_1877Although I’ve heard it rumored that HR professionals “like paper,” sometimes I feel as if we can get bogged down with all the paperwork associated with human resources, benefits, discipline/documentation, recordkeeping, etc.

Some companies and their representatives aren’t familiar with time-of-hire requirements, recommended retention durations for personnel files, termination regulations, and the countless other responsibilities that fall into an HR professional’s realm of control.

While most employers know that they must provide new hires with a W-4 and have them complete an I-9, they might not know about all the other requirements: Worker’s Compensation information/Personal Physician/Chiropractor Pre-Designation form; Wage Disclosure Statement (Wage Theft Protection Act); Form DE 2515: Disability Insurance Pamphlet; Paid Family Leave Pamphlet; Sexual Harassment Information sheet; and Initial Notice of COBRA Rights once an employee is eligible for health benefits. Employers must also report new hires to the EDD, using Form DE-34, within 20 days of hire.

As you can see, recordkeeping processes are not as black and white as many might think. Any individual document that is kept in an employee personnel file, whether it is a payroll record, injury report, or disciplinary notice, requires a unique time frame for recordkeeping. The best rule of thumb is to keep the entire personnel file for a minimum of five years after an employee’s termination.

The termination process has its own set of rules. The timing of final paychecks confuses many employers, but the rule is simple: for an involuntary termination, the final paycheck must be provided to the employee at the time of termination. This policy includes all wages owed, as well as any accrued vacation or paid time off. For a voluntary termination, if an employee provides at least 72 hours of notice or no notice, the employer has 72 hours to provide the final wages. In addition, employer may need to issue the pamphlet “For Your Benefit” (EDD Form DE 2320) and a “Change of Status” notice. If the employee has employer-provided health insurance, COBRA paperwork must be provided and a plan administrator notice must be issued within 14 days. Employer should notify the employee of all continuation, disability extension, and conversion coverage options under any employer-employee sponsored coverage for which the employee may remain eligible after employment terminates.

After reading this, are you more confused than ever? Contact SDEA for some assistance and for access to great tools that can help you understand the complications surrounding these issues. We can be reached  at (858) 505-0024 or by email at


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