It has come to our attention that a provision included in a bill, SB 429, during the 2020 General Assembly session (dealing strictly with child support payment enforcement) included a requirement that all employers, as defined in the law, report their independent contractors to the Virginia New Hire Reporting Center.
The aim of the bill was to ensure that the Virginia Department of Social Services can accurately enforce child-support payment orders. This law was passed because there have been increasing reports of independent contractors failing to pay court-ordered child support. Since 1997, all employers have been required to submit information on the employees to the Virginia Department of Social Services, through the Virginia New Hire Reporting Center. The new law expands the pool of companies that must file with the Virginia Department of Social Services beyond just employers and now includes companies who engage independent contractors.
But now, due to the change in the law, there is ambiguity in expanded definition of “employer,” for purposes of child-support enforcement and the reporting requirements to the Commonwealth. Under the new law, you, as a principal broker may be the “employer” of all of your agents who are independent contractors.
What does this mean for you?
You should now report your new agents to the Virginia New Hire Reporting Center. A new agent is someone who has not previously contracted with you or someone who had previously entered into a contract and has now received payment under the agreement after receiving no payments for at least 60 consecutive days.
There is no fee to report, and you can file electronically, online, or through a variety of file exports.
FIRST, you must register as an employer. If you have already been reporting your wage employees, you can use your same registration. Registration can be found at https://va-newhire.com/register.
After you register, you can use their online form, or you can utilize their file export function. Their file export function can be found at https://va-newhire.com/ftp.
IMPORTANT DETAIL: As you engage new agents, you should report them to this site within 20 days of their contract.
If you are unsure of your status and whether you must report new agents to the Virginia New Hire Reporting Center, you should consult with your firm’s attorney.