In an effort to increase child support payment collections, recent amendments to Florida’s family laws directly affect employers and businesses in the state. These amendments took effect October 1.

Historically, Florida employers with 250 or more employees were required to report their newly hired employees to the State Directory of New Hires of the Florida Department of Revenue. However, the statute (Florida Statute § 409.2576) has recently been amended to apply to all employers in the state, regardless of size. The employees must be reported within 20 days of their dates of hire. The amendment also requires businesses to report service providers (independent contractors) who are paid $600 or more in a calendar year. Reporting of independent contractors used to be optional. Independent contractors must now be reported within 20 days of the start of the contractual relationship or the first payment, whichever occurs first.

When reporting an independent contractor, a company must provide the individual’s name, address, Social Security number (or other identifying number assigned under Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code), the date services for payment were first performed by the individual; and the name, address, and employer identification number of the service recipient. When submitting the information, the company should use the Florida New Hire Reporting Center website established for employers.

If the changes to onboarding procedures and reporting practices have not already been implemented, they need to be incorporated now, because the amendments are in effect.

Even though the state has not given any indication that it will use this information for anything other than its stated purpose of collecting child support, some employers have expressed concerns that the changes will give the state the ability to assess contracting practices or even share the information with federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor. Therefore, this may be an opportune time for companies to review their existing practices to ensure that contractors are properly classified.