New Hire FAQ's
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 following questions and answers are
intended to help you understand and comply with the law's requirements.
- 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 OCSS.
- What will be done with the New Hire Information?
OCSS 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 Oklahoma Department of Human
Services (OKDHS) 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 OCSS in
locating parents who are living in another state. Upon receipt of New Hire information
from other states, OCSS 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
- 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 OCSS 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 OCSS 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
OCSS 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 OCSS. 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.
- 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 §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
- What is the definition of "newly hired employee"?
An employee who has not been previously employed by the employer; or was previously employed by the employer but has been separated from such prior employment for more than 60 consecutive days.
- What is the definition of "recalled employee"?
An employee who has been previously employed by the employer; and has been recalled but separated from such prior employment for less than 60 consecutive days.
- 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 OCSS 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
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:
- Employers Oklahoma Employer Account Number (Assigned by OESC)
- Employees Occupation and Salary
- Employees 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
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 73152-2003
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
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
Randallstown, MD 21133
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
Report your New Hire information twice a month, not less than 12 nor more than 16 days
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'
- 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.
- What if I have more questions?
If you have questions about new hire reporting, call the Oklahoma Employer Help Desk, Oklahoma Department of Human Services at 405-325-9190 or toll-free at 1-866-553-2368 or via email to OCSS.Contact.ESC@okdhs.org.
Questions regarding income assignments or
other matters relating to Child Support should be directed to the Oklahoma Department of Human
Services, Oklahoma Child Support Services, at PO Box 248822, Oklahoma City, OK 73124-8822, or
call (405) 522-5871.