What churches need to know when hiring employees

Many churches are unfamiliar with all of the reporting that is required for new hires or rehires. Please set the example by being a good citizen and following the law for new hires. Here are some forms you need to consider:

Job Application

Have your prospective employee complete an application even if you know their skills, experience and work history. Why? You want to ask them if they have ever had any legal issues in the past – and what a non-offensive way to do so. It’s an important liability issue today for churches to ensure they are screening for criminal history. Most job application forms ask the question: Have you ever been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty, no contest, or had a withheld judgement to a felony? Please explain, if yes.
As a matter of fact, it is good practice to run a criminal background check and a credit check on new hires and repeat this every couple of years to ensure that persons working at the church are in good standing.

W-4 Employee’s Withholding Certificate
This form is required for you to appropriately withhold federal income tax from your employee’s. If you are using a payroll service, like our partner, Gusto, they will on-board your new employee with this form. If you are still manually preparing payroll, be sure you have a copy of this form completed by your new employee and filed in their personnel file. It’s the law.

I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form

Click here to access a pdf copy of the I-9 form in English or Spanish. The form is required by law to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the U.S. All persons must complete this form, citizens and non-citizens. The I-9 forms for all of your employees are to be kept together in a special “I-9” file.

New Hire Reporting

Federal and state law requires employers to provide information about all new or rehired works to the State Attorney General. In Texas you can register your church here and report new or rehired workers online.

New hire reporting is mandated by federal law under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and requires employers to report new hires and rehires no later than 20 calendar days after the hire date.

A good rule of thumb is, if they have to complete a W-4, then you need to report the new hire to the State Attorney General’s office