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  • P.O. Box 750367
  • Memphis, TN 38175
  • (888) 715-2280
  • (615) 884-2828
  • (877) 505-4761


State of Tennessee

By Representatives Halteman, Harwell, Walley, McDaniel, Stamps, Davis

Substituted for: Senate Bill No. 1707

By: Senators Person, McNally, Atchley, Elsea, Jordan, Miller, Ramsey, Williams, Carter, Crowe, Koella, Fowler

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4; Title 7; Title 8; Title 16; Title 17; Title 18; Title 19; Title 20; Title 21; Title 22, Title 23; Title 24; Title 25; Title 26; Title 27; Title 28; Title 29; Title 34; Title 36; Title 37; Title 38; Title 39; Title 45; Title 47; Title 48; Title 49; Title 50; Title 55; Title 56; Title 57; Title 62; Title 63; Title 65; Title 66; Title 67; Title 68; Title 70 and Title 71, relative to the support of children.


SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 36, Chapter 5 is amended by adding the following as a new Part 11:

36-5-1101. Definitions. - The following terms have the following meanings, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) "Business day" means a day on which State offices are open for regular business.

(2) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Human Services or the commissioner's duly authorized representative.

(3) "Department" means the Department of Human Services or its contractor or other designee.

(4) "Directory of new hires" means an automated directory of information supplied by employers on each newly hired or re-hired employee, which is maintained by the Department of Human Services.

(5) "Employee" means an individual who is an employee within the meaning of Chapter 24 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, but does not include an employee of a Federal or State agency performing intelligence or counterintelligence functions, if the head of that agency has determined that reporting pursuant to the requirements of this part with respect to the employee could endanger the safety of the employee or compromise an ongoing investigation or intelligence mission.

(6) "Employer" has the meaning given such term in Section 3401(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and includes any governmental entity and any labor organization.

(7) "Labor organization" has the meaning given such term in Section 2(5) of the National Labor Relations Act, and includes any entity (also known as a "hiring hall") which is used by the organization and an employer to carry out requirements of Section 8(f)(3) of such Act of an agreement between the organization and the employer.

(8) "Title IV-D Agency" means the agency designated pursuant to Title IV, Part D of the Social Security Act to provide services to children and families to establish and enforce child support obligations. In Tennessee, the Department of Human Services is the Title IV-D agency.

36-5-1102. Reports of new employees. - Effective October 1, 1997, each employer shall furnish to the department a report that contains the name, address, and social security number of each newly hired employee, and the name, address, hire date and identifying number assigned under Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 of the employer.

36-5-1103. Reports for employers with employees in two or more states. - An employer that has employees who are employed in two (2) or more states and which transmits reports magnetically or electronically may comply with § 36-5-1102 by designating one (1) state in which such employer has employees to which the employer will transmit the report described in 36-5-1102 and by transmitting such report to such state. Any employer which transmits reports pursuant to this Section shall notify the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in writing as to which state such employer designates for the purpose of sending reports under this section.

36-5-1104. Time frames for reports by employers. - The report provided by § 36-5-1102 shall be made not later than twenty (20) business days after the date the employer hires the employee, or in the case of an employer transmitting reports magnetically or electronically, by two (2) monthly transmissions (if necessary) not less than twelve (12) nor more than sixteen (16) days apart.

36-5-1105. Reports on W-4 Forms. - Each report required by 36-5-1102 shall be made on a W-4 form, or at the option of the employer, an equivalent form, containing the same data as required on the W-4 form. The report may be transmitted to the department by first class mail, magnetically or electronically in a format approved by the department.

36-5-1106. Use of information by department. - (a) The department shall use the information received pursuant to 36-5-1102 to locate individuals for purposes of establishing paternity and establishing, modifying and enforcing child support obligations and may disclose such information to any agent of the department that is under contract with the department to carry out such purposes.

(b) The Commissioner of Human Services shall make available information collected pursuant to this part to state or local agencies or their contractors, or agents in this State or their counterparts in any other State or territory who determine financial or medical assistance as permitted under Section 1137(b) of the Social Security Act, as it may be amended; to any State program operated under a plan approved under Titles 1, X, and XIV of the Social Security Act; any agencies administering the worker's compensation program of a state or territory; and to the Title IV-D agency in this State, its local offices and its contractors, whether public or private, and the Title IV-D agency's counterparts in other states or territories, their local offices and their contractors, whether public or private, for use in locating absent parents, and for use in establishing, enforcing and modifying child support orders, and to the Federal government as required by statute or regulation. The department may charge a fee to cover the costs of the provision of such information to any other state or local government entities which may be conducting eligibility determinations or who are conducting programs under this subsection.

(c) No further disclosures shall be made except as authorized pursuant to this section or Section 10 of this act. Disclosure in violation of this section shall be a Class C misdemeanor.

36-5-1107. Failure to make necessary reports; penalties. - (a) If, after prior notification by the Department of Human Services of failure to make the necessary reports required by this part, any employer fails or refuses to comply with the requirements of this part, the employer shall be subject to a civil penalty of $20.00 for each employee who is not reported.

(b) Any employer and employee who conspire not to provide the report required by this part or who conspire to provide a false or incomplete report shall each be subject to a civil penalty of $400.00

(c) Such penalties shall be assessed by the Commissioner of Human Services after written notice which provides fifteen (15) days from the mailing date of such notice to file a written request for appeal.

(d) If an appeal is timely filed with the department, the employer or employee shall be entitled to an administrative hearing before the department on the issue of the assessment pursuant to the provisions of Title 4, Chapter 3 relative to contested case hearings.

(e) Failure to timely appeal the assessment of the civil penalty shall be final and conclusive of the correctness of the assessment.

(f) Any amount found owing shall be due and payable not later than fifteen (15) days after the mailing date of the determination.

(g)(1) Failure to pay an assessment shall result in a lien against the real or personal property of the employer or the employee in favor of the Department of Human Services and shall be enforced by original attachment issued by the court in the county where the employer is located or where the employee resides by any court having jurisdiction of the monetary amounts assessed.

(2) The employer or employee shall be liable for all court costs and litigation taxes of the proceedings and shall be liable to the department for the cost of any private, contract or government attorney representing the State and for the time of any of its Title IV-D or contractor staff utilized in litigating the assessment.

(h) Any appeal of the action of the Commissioner pursuant to this section shall be made in conformity with § 4-5-322.

36-5-1108. Rulemaking authority. - The Department of Human Services shall have authority to promulgate rules pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act compiled in Title 4, Chapter 5 which it determines are necessary for the implementation of this part, and it is specifically authorized to utilize public necessity rules to implement this act upon the effective date of this part subject to prior approval of the public necessity rules by the Attorney General and Reporter.

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