A recent amendment to child support laws will place new, potentially onerous requirements on Florida businesses, effective October 1, 2021. The new law removes the current threshold of 250 employees for reporting new hires and, for the first time. times, requires companies to report information. concerning certain independent contractors. While the purpose of the law claims to be straightforward, it leaves many questions about how the reported information might be used.
In June 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation which extends Fla. Stat. Â§ 409.2576, which sets out requirements for employers to report new hires and rehires to the state new hire directory. The purpose of this law is to provide information to the Florida Child Support Program to facilitate the collection and payment of child support and to monitor and enforce child support, including through the issuance of child support orders. deduction from income. The information is also available to other government agencies responsible for determining various benefit programs.
Under state and federal laws, employers with 250 or more employees were already required to report newly hired and re-hired employees to the state’s New Hire Directory within 20 days of hiring. The amendment does two things. First, it extends the reporting requirements to all businesses, regardless of the number of employees. The reporting requirements extend to any entity that is a “recipient of services”, defined as “a person carrying on a business or commercial activity who remunerates an individual for services rendered in connection with such business or commercial activity” . Independent contractors who are paid, or will be paid, $ 600 or more in a calendar year should be included. Second, it requires employers to report information about independent contractors, with the exception of contractors employed by federal or state agencies that perform intelligence or counterintelligence functions. Interestingly, the declaration form asks if medical insurance will be available to the worker.
As the number of government lawsuits and audits due to the alleged misclassification of employees as independent contractors has continued to increase in recent years, some companies may be concerned about having to report independent contractors data to the government. . In addition, the law specifies that the reported information may be shared with government contractors who use the data “to locate persons for the purposes of establishing paternity and establishing, modifying and enforcing maintenance obligations.” But it does not specifically identify such entities or impose limitations on their use of new hire information, other than stating that such entities “must comply with confidentiality guarantees.”
The law is silent on penalties for non-reporting.
While the ultimate impact on employers remains to be seen, covered businesses may want to take certain steps to ensure compliance by October 1, 2021. These steps may include training human resources staff and / or hiring staff. regarding the new law and working with payroll service providers to adjust reporting procedures. Companies may also consider conducting internal audits of any independent contractor agreement to determine if it should be reported and to verify that the classifications are appropriate under applicable law.
Â© 2021, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC, All rights reserved.Revue nationale de droit, volume XI, number 271