INCOME WITHHOLDING FOR CHILD SUPPORT OR SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE
With respect to the payment of child support, medical support, maintenance and related payments, Minnesota employers are required to report certain information to the Minnesota Department of
Human Services on new employees and independent contractors, and on rehires, within twenty days of hiring the employee or engaging the independent contractor.53
Under this reporting system, employers must provide the Department of Human Services with the employee or independent contractor’s name, address, social security number, and if available, date of birth. In addition, employers must provide their own name, address and federal employer identification number. The Department of Human Services has given employers different options for reporting such information, including mailing or faxing the person’s W-4 form, or providing the information on a printed list, on magnetic tape, diskette, or via telephone (note that certain formatting requirements must be followed in some instances). For further information, contact the Department of Human Services at (651) 431-2000.
When the employee or independent contractor is required under order to pay child support, maintenance or related payments, the employer is required to begin withholding according to the terms of the order.54 This obligation applies to wages or other lump sum payments made by the employer to the employee or independent contractor.
When the employer receives notice of court-ordered support, it must begin withholding no later than the first pay period that occurs after 14 days following the date of the notice.55 The maximum amount which may be withheld for spousal maintenance or child support is 50 percent of the employee’s disposable earnings if the employee is supporting a new spouse or another dependent child, and 60 percent if the employee is not supporting a spouse or other dependent child (55 and 65 percent respectively in certain cases where the employee is in arrears on court-ordered support or maintenance payments).56 An employer may deduct $1 from the employee’s remaining salary for each payment made pursuant to a withholding order in order to cover its expenses.57
DEPENDENT MEDICAL SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
At the time of hire, an individual (whether an employee or independent contractor) is required to disclose whether medical support is required to be withheld from his or her pay.58 If so, employers are required to withhold such amounts in the same manner as amounts for child support, maintenance or related payments. Employers must request that new employees disclose whether they have been ordered by a court to provide health and dental dependent insurance coverage. If a new employee discloses an obligation to obtain health and dental dependent insurance coverage and coverage is available through the employer, the employer is required to make all application processes known to the employee upon hiring, and to enroll the new employee and dependent in the plan. An employer or union that willfully fails to comply with the court order is liable for any health or dental expenses incurred by the dependents during the period of time the dependents were eligible to be enrolled in the insurance program, and for any other premium costs incurred because the employer or the union willfully failed to follow the court order. The employer can also be required to pay a fine of $500, and can be held in contempt of court.
CREDITS: This post is an excerpt from An Employer’s Guide to Employment Law Issues in Minnesota, originally produced through a collaborative effort between the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Lindquist & Vennum, P.L.L.P.
This post is part of a series of posts on hiring an employee in Minnesota.
53. Minn. Stat. § 256.998, subd. 3, 5 (2007)
54. Minn. Stat. § 518A.53, subd. 3 (2007).
55. Minn. Stat. § 518A.53, subd. 5(a) (2007).
56. Minn. Stat. § 518A.53, subd. 9(a) (2007) (citing 15 U.S.C. § 1673 (b)(2)).
57. Minn. Stat. § 518A.53, subd. 5(f) (2007).
58. Minn. Stat. § 518A.41, subd. 6 (2007).