California Hiring Checklist

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UPDATED: Mar 11, 2015

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Written By: Jeffrey JohnsonUPDATED: Mar 11, 2015Fact Checked

By: C. Edward Langhammer, Jr. Member, Cotkin & Collins

California Pre-Hire Checklist

Employers are well advised to have in place basic procedures, forms, etc. for hiring employees. These procedures come into play BEFORE the employee is hired. Employers can be and have been sued for “failure to hire” applicants. It’s important that employers have procedures to encompass the following as pertinent to the particulars of the employer’s business:

  • Employment Advertisement
  • Employee v. Independent Contractor
  • Affirmative Action
  • EDD’s Job Match Service
  • Job Training Partnership Act Employment Applications
  • EEO Data
  • Interview
  • Background Check
  • Credit Check
  • Drug Testing
  • Exempt or Non-exempt Status
  • Work Permits for Minors


California Hiring Checklist – Required Forms

So now the decision has been made to hire an employee. But the savvy employer is not done yet. Employers are required to make sure the required forms are completed and required pamphlets handed out, including:

  • W-4 Form: Employee Withholding
  • I-9 Form: Employment Eligibility Verification
  • Report of New Employee(s): Form DE-34
  • Workers’ Compensation Information
  • Personal Physician/Chiropractor Predesignation Form
  • Form DE 2515: Disability Insurance Pamphlet
  • Paid Family Leave Pamphlet
  • Sexual Harassment Information Sheet
  • Work Permit (if employee is a minor)
  • Form DE-4: California Employee Withholding


While beyond the scope of this article, it can be noted that if you are crazy enough to try to characterize someone as an “Independent Contractor”, then instead of the above you need to complete a Report of Independent Contractor Status (DE 542) (If applicable).
NOTE: You better have a written agreement in place if you want even a prayer of a chance to have someone declared an “independent contractor.”

California Hiring Checklist – Recommended Forms

In addition to the “required” forms above, employers may wish to consider whether any of the following recommended forms make sense for their use in their particular businesses:

  • Employment Application
  • Employment Letter
  • Letter to Temporary Employees
  • Initial Notice of COBRA Rights
  • HIPAA Questionnaire
  • Initial Safety Training
  • Employee Orientation
  • Emergency Information
  • Employee Handbook Receipt
  • Health Insurance and Benefits Information
  • Property Return Agreement
  • Appropriate Exempt Analysis Worksheet
  • Credit and Background checking forms (If You Do These Background Checks)
  • Employment Interview Checklist


Click here, for a top rated California employment law firm to evaluate your legal rights. No Cost. No Obligation.

(“Copyright ©2006, Cotkin, Collins & Ginsburg. Used with permission.)


Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

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