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Employer Information
New Hire Reporting
Federal law requires all employers to report information about newly hired employees to the Federal New Hire Registry. California law expands this reporting requirement to include all independent contractors paid or contracted to be paid $600 or more in a year. The reported information is then matched by computers to identify those new hires against persons with child support orders. The employment information is given to child support agencies to pursue collection of support.

Requirements
  • Report within 20 days of hire
  • Report every newly hired and rehired employee, even if terminated prior to 20th day
  • Report all independent contractors within 20 days of work
  • Report on form DE 340
  • Mail to EDD:
    P.O. Box 997016 MIC 23
    West Sacramento, CA 95799

Notice to Withhold Wages
Once a court orders child support, either the court or the child support agency issues a income withholding order (IWO) that is served on the employer of the paying parent. The IWO will list a specific amount of current child support to be withheld from the paying parent's wages each month. If there is also support owed from an earlier time period, an additional amount will usually be ordered withheld each month.

The notice is mandatory and has the same status as a direct court order on the employer, including severe sanctions if the IWO is ignored.

Process
  • Employer receives income withholding order (and blank request for hearing and statement of employees rights)
  • Withholding order is effective as soon as possible, but no later than 10 days after it is received
  • Employer delivers papers to the employee - a copy of the IWO, the attached statement of rights, and blank request for hearing within 10 days of receiving the IWO
  • Income is withheld from each payment to the employee and sent to the address directed on the IWO, general the State distribution unit, within 10 days of being withheld. (note: employers shall provide the employee, court and case identifiers)
  • Withholding continues until the employee no longer works for the employer or until the court or child support agency rescinds the order (note: employers should hold the IWO if there is any chance the employee will return - it is still effective and binding on the employer)
  • If employment terminates, the employer must inform the child support agency immediately of the following:
    • Employee name
    • Child support agency case number
    • Date of separation
    • Last known home address
    • The new employer's name and address
  • Withholding is limited to 50% of the paying party’s net paycheck, absent a court order for up to 60%
  • Employer may defray the cost of withholding with $1.50 per pay period deduction from the employees wages, and it cannot come from the support amount
  • Almost all income, including in-kind income, is considered income for support withholding. Check with the department of Child Support Services if you are unsure whether a source is subject to withholding

Employee Information Requests
Family code section 17512 requires that upon receipt of a written request from the Department of Child Support Services, every employer shall cooperate with and provide relevant employment and income information in their possession to the agency. Relevant employment and income information shall include, but is not be limited to:
  • Whether the person has or has not been employed by an employer
  • The full name of the employee, or the first and middle initial and last name of the employee
  • The employee's last known residence address
  • The employee's date of birth
  • The employee's social security number
  • The dates of employment
  • Current rate of pay
  • All earnings paid to the employee in the prior tax year
  • Other earnings (for definition, see family code section 5206)
  • Whether dependent health insurance coverage is available to the employee through employment or membership in a labor organization

Liability for Noncompliance
Employers are civilly liable for failure to comply with the following:
  • IWO and new hire: California law expressly prohibits employers from firing, punishing, or refusing to hire an employee because of a child support withholding order
  • IWO: employers who do not comply with withholding orders will be personally liable for the support and may be subject to contempt of court charges
  • Employee information requests: an employer that fails to provide relevant employment information to the local child support agency within 30 days of receiving a request may be assessed a civil penalty of a maximum of $1,000, plus attorney fees and costs. Proceedings to impose the civil penalty shall be commenced by the filing and service of an order to show cause