Federal Payroll Questions Fielded by Panel at 2018 Forum


The Office of Child Support Enforcement is planning to update its income withholding order form in 2020, an agency official said May 16.

One change that may be considered is including space on the form where the date of an underlying state income withholding order can be entered, said Sherri Grigsby, manager of employer services for OCSE.

Knowing the date that a child support withholding order was issued is important because a child support withholding order takes priority over a federal tax levy that is entered after the order, but the federal tax levy takes priority if it is entered before the order.

Employers can determine the issue date of a child support income withholding order by contacting the state child support office, said Grigsby, who responded to federal payroll questions with three other government officials during a federal forum held at the American Payroll Congress in National Harbor, Md.

Seventy-five percent of the child support income that is collected comes from withholding, Grigsby told session attendees.

Which Name to Use?

For employment and Social Security number verification purposes, employers should use an employee’s legal name or the one that is on their Social Security card, said Scott Pedersen, a Social Security Administration program manager.

If the employee doesn’t present a Social Security card, the employer can use an alias if that is the only name they have for the employee, Pedersen said.

Government Shutdown

Employers don’t need to worry if review of cases submitted through E-Verify is suspended because of a government shutdown, said Dave Basham, an analyst with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

In the event of a long shutdown, employers may refer to the shutdown if they are questioned about a late submission, Basham said.

Calculating Regular Rate

A company that paid its security officers double time for holiday pay didn’t have to include that pay when calculating their regular rate for overtime purposes because the regular rate had already been factored in, said Derrick Witherspoon, a branch chief in the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, responding to a question.

If an employee is paid a hiring bonus in return for a promise to increase productivity, that amount must be included in calculating the employee’s regular rate, Witherspoon said in response to another question.