If we bring back an employee, do we need to rehire them and fill out new hire paperwork?

It depends on the intent of the employer and employee at separation. If an employee was laid off with no guarantee that the employer would bring them back, employers may need to complete more rehire paperwork. A worker who was furloughed, however, is intended to return to the workforce and therefore wouldn’t need to complete rehire paperwork.

Employers should review their new hire checklist to determine what documents the employee will need to re-sign; evaluate whether the employee should fill out a form again just to be safe and cover your bases. The exact documents depend on the situation.

However, while an employee may not need to re-sign all employment documents, employers should fill out the Form I-9, Section 3 again. If an employee’s documents authorizing them to work hasn’t expired, you don’t need to look at their documents again; if they have expired, you may need to review new documents. Also remember that a new Form I-9 was released earlier this year and became mandatory on May 1. If your employee originally filled out the older version of the Form I-9, complete Section 3 of the new form and attach it to the old form.

Employers may also give their rehired employees an opportunity to refill out the Form W-4 or Form DE-4. New versions of these forms were released this year, which changed the paycheck withholding structure.

Additionally, if there have been changes to the company’s employee handbook or if the employee no longer has the employee handbook, then a new handbook should be given.

No special COVID-19 rehiring exceptions exist (except for the temporary remote viewing of documents for the Form I-9). Rehires follow the same laws as before the pandemic.

Read more about Reverifying Employment Eligibility in the HR Library.

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