WHAT DO EMPLOYERS OR PAYORS OF INCOME DO WITH IWOs?
The employer or payor of income must follow these four steps when they receive a Notice/Order to Withhold Income for Child Support.
- Document the date of receipt. This is important. Withholding must begin on the next payment of income to the employee after they receive the notice. Payments must be sent to the Oklahoma Centralized Support Registry (also known as the State Disbursement Unit) within 7 business days after payday. 56 O.S. §240.2 (D)(2)
- In interstate cases, give a copy of the Notice/Order to Withhold Income for Child Support to the employee.
- Determine if it appears to be a valid legal document. If the document appears to be a legal document then it is considered valid and the employer or payor of income must honor the notice.
- Follow terms of notice.
Remember that, although child support is not a garnishment itself, it is paid before all other garnishments with one exception: IRS tax levy. 68 O.S. § 205.2 (F) Also, a higher percentage of an employee’s paycheck can be withheld for child support than for other garnishments.
Termination of Employment
Once an employee is no longer employed by, being paid by, or providing services to the employer, the employer must notify Child Support Services (CSS) within 10 days. Also, if an employee terminates before the Notice/Order to Withhold Income for Child Support is received; the employer must notify CSS within 10 days of receiving the notice. The employer must provide the employee’s last known address and, if known, new employment information. 56 O.S. §240.2 (D)(8)(9)
IWO Q & A Regarding Employers
- What should the employer do if they receive a notice that has a different name than their employee but the social security number matches?
- They should call the issuing agency listed on the Notice/Order to Withhold Income for Child Support for instructions. If the notice is an Oklahoma notice the correct phone number is 405-325-9190 for the Oklahoma City area or 1-866-553-2368 for other areas of the state. The Employer Services Center (ESC) staff will help them contact the appropriate agency.
- Can employers combine payments from different employees into the same check?
- Yes. However, they must list the name, Social Security Number and amount withheld for each employee and mail with the check. 56 O.S. §240.2 (D)(12)
- What does the employer or payor of income do if they receive a second Notice/Order to Withhold Income for Child Support for the same child(ren) but from a different state?
- If the employer or payor of income receives a second income withholding notice for the same employee and they determine that it is for the same family, first determine if the second notice is for arrears or medical support only. When it is for arrears or medical support only, and there is enough allowable disposable income to cover both notices, they should give a copy of the second notice to the employee and begin withholding from the second notice in addition to the first. If there is not enough allowable disposable income to cover the second notice, they should notify the issuing agency of the situation. When the notice is for current support, they should continue to honor the first income withholding notice. After supplying the employee with a copy of the second notice, they should call the agency listed on the second notice and inform them that they are already withholding and let them know the amount and the place where they are remitting the payments. They should then contact the original issuing agency and inform them of the second notice. They should also continue withholding from the original notice until they receive documentation to do otherwise from that issuing agency.
- What should the employer do if an employee wants to make a voluntary deduction from his/her paycheck for child support?
- Please direct the employee to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services website. They can make payments through automatic bank account withdrawal or by credit or debit card on a one-time or on-going basis. The employer cannot withhold child support from their paycheck without a Notice of Income Withholding issued by Child Support Services or a court.
- Can employers charge an administrative fee for this?
- Yes. According to Oklahoma law, employers may deduct $5 per pay period, not to exceed $10 a month for administrative costs. However, this fee must come from the employee’s pay, not from the child support award. 56 O.S. §240.2 (D)(14)
- What does an employer do if the employee disputes the child support notice?
- They should direct the employee to contact the issuing agency or person listed on the notice to address any problems or grievances.
- What does the employer do if the custodial person keeps calling to find out where the check is?
- They should inform the custodial person to call the customer service (CARE) center, 405-522-2273 if the custodial person is located in the Oklahoma City area or 918-295-3500 for the Tulsa area. For persons in other parts of the state, please call 1-800-522-2922. The staff at CARE can answer questions from the custodial person concerning his/her case, including when the payment was received by the State Disbursement Unit and when it was mailed out or deposited.
- What does the employer do if the employee is called up on active military duty?
- They should notify the issuing agency listed on the Notice/Order to Withhold Income for Child Support immediately. If contact information is not included and the notice is issued in Oklahoma, they should contact ESC at 405-325-9190 or 1-866-553-2368.
- What should the employer do if they rehire an employee who has a child support notice?
- They should begin withholding child support according to the original notice upon rehiring until they hear from Child Support Services. By law, they must retain the Notice/Order to Withhold Income for Child Support on any employee after they have left the employer according to the company’s document retention policies.