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. Oregon law (ORS 25.424) provides that 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 an employee because of the entry or service of a withholding order, or because of the obligations the order imposes on the employer.

Does an Income Withholding for Support always come from the Oregon Child Support Program?

No. Federal law allows every state to send orders to employers in another state. Therefore, an income withholding order may also come directly from another state, a private attorney, or a custodial parent. Please see the Office of Child Support Services Income Withholding – Answers to Employers’ Questions » for more information.

Will employer packets vary?

Yes. Although the income withholding order for child support should be the same from every state because it is a standardized federal form, each state has different forms that will accompany the withholding order.

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” last. If the employee has multiple withholdings, first withhold 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.

Do I need to report independent contractors as new hires?

Yes, Oregon law (ORS 25.790) requires all Oregon employers report new and rehired employees, as well as engaged and reengaged individuals—not companies—who are independent contractors. The report must occur within 20 days if submitting the new hire form by mail, fax, or online—or within 12 to 16 days, if transmitting the data electronically through the Oregon Employer Services Portal.

Should I withhold child support from lump-sum type payments?

Yes, child support should be withheld up to 50 percent of a lump-sum payment after mandatory deductions. The definition of income is money owed to an employee and includes but is not limited to: money paid for personal services, including wages, salary, bonus, commission, pension, or retirement payments. Income received as an independent contractor, cash dividends from stocks or bonds, unemployment compensation, disability, and workers compensation benefits are all considered income as well.

If the employee is due to receive any type of lump sum or benefit, you may be required to withhold from that income. Contact Employer Services at 866-907-2857 or ChildSupportEmployerServices@doj.state.or.us for assistance.

How do I know when and how much to withhold when I receive an “Income Withholding for Support”?

Withholding income must begin the first pay period occurring after you receive the Income Withholding for Support (CSF 11 0210 (PDF) »). The notice indicates the amount to be withheld. You must send the withheld income within seven business 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.

Can I charge the employee a fee for processing the withholding?

In Oregon, a fee of up to $5.00 per month per case can be charged to each employee. This fee is deducted from the employee’s remaining income and not the child support payment unless withholding is 50 percent of the employee’s disposable income. In this case, withhold the fee from the amount you send to us or the issuer of the order and notice. Oregon law (ORS 25.414) states the amount withheld, including the employer’s fee, cannot exceed 50 percent of the employee’s disposable income.

What if I do not comply with the income withholding order?

You may be liable for the full amount of support not withheld from the employee’s pay. You may also be subject to a fine and be required to pay reasonable costs of a civil action to recover the amounts subject to withholding, including attorney fees.