FAQs for Employers

We have answers to the most common child support questions from employers.

Most employer obligations and tasks can be managed easily online using the Oregon Employer Services Portal ».

If you cannot find an answer to your question here, please contact Employer Services.


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Can I discipline, discharge, or refuse to hire an employee because of a child support withholding order?

No. An employer commits an unlawful employment practice if the employer discharges, refuses to hire, or in any other manner discriminates, retaliates, or takes disciplinary action against the employee because of the entry or service of a withholding order, or because of the obligations the order imposes on the employer.

What if there is an existing IRS levy or a garnishment for the employee and I receive an order to withhold income for child support?

A levy from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) takes priority over a child support income withholding order only if the IRS levy was served before the original child support order was established. Oregon law states that an income withholding order for child support has priority over any other garnishment, regardless of which was served first. Questions regarding the levy or garnishment must be directed to the issuing entity of the levy or garnishment.

Can I verify the balance owing on my employee’s case for payroll purposes?

You may contact the issuing agency, or if the withholding is from an Oregon entity, the Employer Services at the Oregon Child Support Program.

Can I send withheld income from several different employees in one check?

Yes. An employer may combine withheld amounts for more than one employee in a single payment; however, the information that must be provided about each employee includes:

  • the name of each employee.
  • the case identifier/identifiers, and specific amount to be applied to each case.
  • the date of the withholding. (This is the actual pay date, not the time period when earnings accrued.)

What do I receive as the employer?

The Oregon Child Support Program issues the federal form Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support, an Oregon Information for Withholder document. We also send the Past-Due Support Calculation Worksheet if collection is only for past due support. These forms provide a summary of all the information you need to comply with income withholding.

Does an Order/Notice to Withhold always come from the Oregon Division of Child Support or District Attorney’s office?

No. The law allows every state to send orders to employers to another state. Therefore, a notice to withhold may also come directly from another state, a private attorney, or a custodial parent. Please see the U S. Department of Human Services guide to contacts » for more information.

What if my employee wants to make a voluntary deduction for child support, or increase the amount withheld in excess of the income withholding order?

The employee would need to contact the assigned child support agency, either the Oregon Child Support Program or another state’s child support agency. You, as the employer, are required to withhold the amount noted on the income withholding order. An employee can make additional payments by personal check or money order to the issuing agency.

What if my employee’s available disposable income is less than the pay period amount on the order?

Cash support (including spousal support) is withheld first, health care coverage premiums second, and “other” is last. If the employee has multiple notices for withholding, withhold first cash support (current and arrears) for all cases on a proportionate-share basis, then equally apply any remaining amounts to all orders with arrears. If any income is left after cash support is withheld, then withhold for the health care coverage, and “other” would follow.

How do I, as an employer, know when and how much to withhold when I receive an “Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support”?

Withholding income must begin the first pay period occurring after you receive the Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support (CSF 11 0210 (PDF) »). The notice informs you, as the employer, of the amount to be withheld. You must send the withheld income within seven working days of the pay date and date of withholding. Send the withheld income to the address under “remittance information” in the notice.

What is “disposable income”?

Disposable income is defined as the part of an individual’s income remaining after the deduction of any amounts required to be withheld by law. In Oregon, mandatory deductions are: federal, state and local income taxes, Social Security, Medicare, workers compensation, and any statutory retirement payments.