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New Hire Reporting FAQs

 

The welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, (PRWORA), requires employers to report certain information on their newly-hired employees to a designated State agency.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) is the designated state agency in Oklahoma that receives the new hire reports. The Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) is the repository for Oklahoma's directory of new hires. Many states have selected their child support program as the designated state agency to receive the new hire reports. The Legislature determined that since employers are used to reporting quarterly wage data to OESC, it would be less burdensome for employers to report their new hire reports to OESC as well. OESC and CSED have partnered together to develop the New Hire Reporting Form, data file layout, and a pamphlet.

The following questions and answers are intended to help you understand and comply with the law's requirements.

General Issues

What is New Hire Reporting?

New Hire Reporting is a process by which you, as an employer, report information on newly-hired employees to the OESC shortly after the date of hire. As an employer, you will play a key role in this important program by reporting all of your newly-hired employees to OESC. OESC will then report all New Hire Reporting information to the Oklahoma CSED.

What will be done with the New Hire Information?

CSED will match New Hire reports against their child support records to locate parents, establish an order, or enforce an existing order. Once these matches are done, Oklahoma will transmit the New Hire reports to the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH).  OESC may also use the State New Hire information to detect and prevent erroneous benefit payments. In addition, the Department of Human Services (DHS) can conduct matches between the New Hire database and other State programs to prevent unlawful or erroneous receipt of public assistance payments.

Why have a National Directory of New Hires?

It is estimated that over 30 percent of child support cases involve parents who do not live in the same state as their children. By matching this New Hire data with child support participant information at the national level, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) will be able to assist CSED in locating parents who are living in another state. Upon receipt of New Hire information from other states, CSED will take the steps necessary to establish paternity, establish a child support order or enforce existing orders.

What is the expected outcome of this New Hire reporting system?

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has estimated that a New Hire program will increase national child support collections by $6.4 billion over the next ten years.  Prior to the passage of PRWORA, twenty-six states already had New Hire reporting. These programs resulted in significant increases in child support collections; reductions in welfare payments; and millions of dollars saved in Medicaid, Food Stamps and unemployment insurance claims.

Why was the New Hire reporting part of the welfare reform legislation?

A major focus of PRWORA is parental responsibility to support their children. It contains strict work requirements for custodial parents receiving public assistance and increases the effectiveness of CSED in establishing and enforcing child support orders.

Won't this reporting process be a burden to employers?

The majority of the information you will be submitting is already being collected when a new employee completes a W-4 form. Although the reporting process is an additional requirement, the majority of employers currently participating in state-established reporting programs report either "no" or "minor" cost impacts to their operation. To ease the process, OESC and CSED are working closely with employers, offering a variety of reporting methods.

Isn't this information available through quarterly wage reporting?

Quarterly data is often out of date before CSED receives the information. There can be as much as a six month lag between the time when the data is submitted and when it is available to CSED. With New Hire reporting, the data will be available within a significantly shorter time period. Because the data will be more current, non-custodial parents can be located more quickly, allowing child support orders to be established and/or enforced more quickly.

How will New Hire reporting benefit employers?

A direct benefit to employers is the reduction and prevention of fraudulent unemployment and workers' compensation payments. Timely receipt of New Hire data allows OESC to cross-match this data against its active unemployment claimant (UIC) files--either stopping payments or recovering erroneous payments. For example, although only 20 percent of the State of Tennessee's employers are currently required to report, Tennessee has saved over $11.4 million in UIC benefits since 1981. With 100 percent of employers reporting, as required by PRWORA, Tennessee and Oklahoma should save significantly more in the future.

Definitions

What is the definition of "employer" for New Hire reporting purpose?

Federal legislation states that an "employer" for New Hire reporting purposes is the same as for federal income tax purposes (as defined by Section 3401(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) and includes any governmental entity or labor organization. At a minimum, in any case where an employer is required to give an individual a W-2 form, the employer must meet the New Hire reporting requirements.

What is the "date started to work" considered to be?

The "date started to work" is considered to be the first day services are performed for wages by an individual .

Do I need to submit a New Hire report for independent contractors and subcontractors performing services for me?

You must first make the determination of whether or not there is an existing employer/employee relationship. If the work being performed is based on a contract rather than an employer/employee relationship, under federal laws you are not required to report. In such a circumstance, the contractor is responsible for reporting his/her employees.

What employer address am I required to report?

The employer's Payroll Processing Address is required. This should be the address where child support income withholding notices and orders should be sent to begin the income withholding process. An Optional Employer Address is requested when reporting electronically. The optional address reported should be the address where letters and other correspondence regarding the employee should be directed. It can be the same as your payroll processing address.

As a temporary employment agency, must we report as a New Hire each individual placed by our agency?

If your agency is paying wages to the individual, you must submit a New Hire report. The individual needs to be reported only once, except when there is a break in service from your agency and a new W-4 form is required. If your agency simply refers individuals for employment and does not pay salaries, New Hire reports are not necessary from you. However, the employer who actually hires and pays the individual, whether on a part-time of full-time basis, will be required to report the New Hire information.

Are labor organizations and hiring halls required to report members under the New Hire reporting program?

Labor organizations and hiring halls must report their own employees, that is, individuals who work directly for the labor organizations or hiring hall. As with a temporary employment agency, if the labor organization or hiring hall simply refers individuals for employment, a New Hire report does not need to be filed.

When are States required to establish their New Hire programs?

October 1, 1997, all States were required to establish New Hire reporting programs. Oklahoma's New Hire legislation included an emergency clause making it effective July 1, 1997. Oklahoma employers who have not started reporting New Hires must start reporting immediately.

How soon must I submit a report after hiring someone?

All newly-hired employees must be reported to OESC within 20 days of being hired if you are reporting by mail or fax. Employers who report electronically must report at least twice monthly, within at least 20 days of being hired. Date started to work is defined as the first day services are performed by the employee for a wage.

What form do I use to send in my New Hire reports?

Employers are encouraged to report new hires by (1) submitting reports by electronic media or (2) mailing or faxing a copy of the New Hire Reporting Form.

OESC and CSED request that all reports be sent electronically if possible.  The easiest method for reporting is the direct Online data entry available for use by employers who have access to the Internet. Employers who have no Internet access may use their own computer payroll or accounting system to capture the required data needed for New Hire Reporting.  The requirements for reporting electronically are specified in the Electronic Reporting Specification Document.

If you have no way to report electronically you may use the New Hire Reporting Form and Fax or mail the hand written form to the New Hire Center.  If using the Fax or mail form, we suggest you complete one form with your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), Oklahoma Employer Account Number, company name, payroll address and telephone number, and then make several photocopies of this form. This way, you only need to add employee specific information. We do not recommend using the W-4 because not all legally required data is included on the form.

What must be reported on each New Hire Report?

Each New Hire report must contain the following data elements:

  • Employee name, address and Social Security Number

  • Employer name, address, and Federal Employer Identification Number

  • Date Started to Work

  • State of Hire

The following items are also being requested to be reported to avoid future paperwork being sent to you:

  • Employer’s Oklahoma Employer Account Number (Assigned by OESC)

  • Employee’s Occupation and Salary

  • Employee’s Date of Birth

  • Is Dependent Health Insurance Available?

  • Is this employee still employed with your company?

  • Recall (Rehire) Date

Do I need to do a New Hire report on a newly-hired individual who quits before the New Hire report is due?

Yes. Because the employer/employee relationship existed and wages were earned, a New Hire report must be submitted. Even though the employment period was short, the reported information may be the key to locating the non-custodial parent. To report that someone has quit before the New Hire report is due, answer "NO" to the question "Is this person still employed with your company?".

How do I report Recalled or Rehired employees?

These employees are reported by completing the same information as required for new hires. These are employees for whom a new W-4 is not required. Check "recalled" on the form to indicate this employee had previously worked for your company, was laid-off and then rehired or recalled. You should re-report these employees as "recalled" using the return-to-work-date after layoffs ends. OESC will eventually be using this date to ensure recall credits for applicable employers.

Who should complete the New Hire Reporting Form?

You or your personnel staff should complete the form, not the employee. If an accounting or payroll firm completes the form for you, the employer's name must be listed under the "employer" section. Payroll processing telephone number and address where income withholding notices and orders should be sent must be reported in the "Employer Information" section of the "Oklahoma New Hire Reporting Form (OES-112)".

How will the New Hire data be safeguarded once it is submitted?

Security and privacy of New Hire data are important issues for all those involved in the implementation of this nationwide program. Oklahoma law requires safeguarding confidential information. All data will be sent from Oklahoma to the National New Hire Directory over secure and dedicated lines. Federal law requires that the Secretary of DHHS establish and implement safeguards to protect the integrity and security of information in the NDNH and to restrict access to and use of the information to authorized persons and purposes.

Methods for Submitting Data

How do I Submit my New Hire data?

New Hire data may be submitted in a variety of ways:

  • OESC recommends that businesses which have access to the Internet use the convenient On-Line New Hire Reporting system.  Data is entered directly into the system for each employee and may be entered at the employer's convenience by entering as many or as few records at a time as desired.

  • Businesses who currently have their own computerized personnel or accounting system in place, and who gather all of the required data for their employees, may wish to submit electronically.  A data file layout is provided under New Hire Electronic Reporting Specifications.   You may create your file using the provided layout and submit the file through our On-Line process, or copy to magnetic tape or diskette according to the instructions and mail to the address below.

  • Finally, businesses that have no Internet access may wish to download our printed form to be filled in by hand and mailed or faxed to OESC.  The blank form is available for printing in two formats.  Information should be hand printed clearly and completely on each form in pen.   FAX or mail to:

    Oklahoma New Hire Reporting Center
    PO Box 52003
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  73152-2004
    Toll Free FAX: 1-800-317-3786
    Local FAX: (405) 557-5350

Multistate Employer Issues

I am a multistate employer. Do I have to report to each State in which I have employees?

Multistate employers have two reporting options:

  • Report newly-hired employees to the State in which they are working, following the New Hire regulations and requirements of each State to which you will report, or

  • Select one State where you have employees working and report all New Hires to that State electronically or magnetically.

You may not report using both multi-state and single-state methods.

If you choose to report New Hire data on all employees to only one of the States in which you have a presence, you will be able to do so beginning October 1, 1997. To do this you must comply with the following:

  • Notify the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in writing, specifying which State you have designated as recipient of all your New Hire information for your entire business.

    Mail the notification to:
    Department of Health and Human Services
    Multistate Employer Registration
    Office of Child Support Enforcement
    Box 509
    Randallstown, MD 21133
    202-401-9267

    Include at a minimum the employer's name and address. The following optional information would be helpful:

    - Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
    - Employer phone number
    - States in which your company does business
    - Estimated number of New Hires per year
    - Corporate point of contact for clarification of data

  • Transmit either magnetically or electronically all New Hire information in accordance with your designated State's requirements. You do not need to report the required elements from each State in which you have employees -- only report what is required by the State you have selected for reporting purposes.

    Report your New Hire information twice a month, not less than 12 nor more than 16 days apart.

Please note, however, that if you choose to report to one State, the information may not be available to the employee's work State for purposes of detecting fraud in the unemployment insurance or workers' compensation programs.

How will States in which I have employees working know that I have selected another State for my New Hire reporting?

The National Directory of New Hires will maintain a list of those multistate employers who have elected to use single-state notification. The designated reporting locations of those employers will be made available to all States so they can be aware of where their State's New Hires are being reported.

Contact Information

What if I have more questions?

  • If you have questions about new hire reporting, call the OKDHS - Oklahoma Employer Services Center Information Number 1-866-553-2368 or OKC Metro Area 405-522-5550 or via E-mail to =CSED.EmployerAssistance@okdhs.org

  • Questions regarding income assignments or other matters relating to Child Support should be directed to the Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division, at PO Box 53552, Oklahoma City, OK 73152, or call 405-522-5871.

 

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