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About New Hire Reporting

In August 1996, Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), commonly referred to as "Welfare Reform," which included a mandate that all states must establish a central repository for new hire reporting and that all employers must report their new hires for inclusion in the repository.

New hire reporting is a simple process by which employers report information on newly-hired and/or re-hired employees to a designated state agency shortly after the date of hire.

What is the information used for?

States match the new hire reports against their child support records to locate parents, establish an order, or enforce an existing order. With new hire reporting, state child support enforcement agencies have the ability to issue wage withholding orders (the most effective means of collecting child support) much more quickly. State agencies may also conduct matches between their new hire database and certain other state programs, such as public assistance, unemployment and worker's compensation files, to prevent unlawful or erroneous receipt of benefit payments.

Once those matches are done, the State submits their new hire reports to a National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), a component of the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS). The FPLS receives the new hire data from all states, and along with other state employment information, matches it against state locate requests. When there is a match, the FPLS provides the locate information to the state requesting it. The FPLS is a valuable tool for states in locating parents who are not providing support for their children. It is especially helpful for child support cases involving more than one state, often the most difficult cases for states to handle. New hire reporting was part of a major expansion of the FPLS and other features are added regularly.

Will the information be kept private?

A major focus for all those involved in the implementation of the new hire program is the development of safeguards for the security and privacy of the data. Federal law requires all states to establish safeguards for confidential information handled by state agencies. All State data is transmitted over secure and dedicated lines to the NDNH. Federal law also requires the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to establish and implement safeguards to protect the integrity and security of information in the NDNH and to restrict access to and use of the information to authorized persons and purposes.


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