A bill (S.B. 355) has been signed into law in Texas specifying the definition of the term newly hired employee for new hire reporting purposes and amending the child support withholding laws. The changes go into effect on September 1.
New Hire Reporting
For purposes of new hire reporting, a newly hired employee will now be defined as an employee who:
Has not been previously employed by the employer; or
Was previously employed by the employer but has been separated from that employment for at least 60 consecutive days.
The new definition conforms to the federal law definition of the term. It will be codified as Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 234.101(3).
Child Support Withholding
If an employer is required to remit payments of withheld child support electronically but fails to do so, the state disbursement unit may impose a fine on the employer of up to $25 for each payment not remitted by electronic means. Under current law, employers with 50 or more employees must remit child support payments by electronic funds transfer or electronic data interchange by the second business day after payday.
Employers may not withhold the amount of the fine from an employee's pay or somehow charge it against the employee. The new fine will be codified as Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 158.203(e).
In addition, clerks of court will be required to use the standard child support withholding order, Income Withholding for Support Order/Notice (IWO), which has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). If an employer receives an order on a different form, it should reject it and return it to the sender. Currently, the correct OMB-approved form has the expiration date of May 31, 2014 printed at the bottom of the second page of the form. This requirement will be codified as Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 158.106.