As an employer with employees, you have a lot of government-mandated responsibilities. You have to withhold employment taxes, provide workers’ compensation coverage, and maintain an unemployment compensation account. But many employers are missing the easiest requirement and the one that is seemingly the most mundane - reporting their new hires.
Sections 3121.89 through 3121.8911 of the Ohio Revised Code require every employer to make a new hire report to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (“ODJFS”) regarding the hiring, re-hiring, or return to work of an employee or contractor. The purpose of this is to aid ODJFS in the collection of child support, as well as to help prevent unemployment and welfare fraud.
Am I Subject To This?
If you have employees, even just one, you are required to report them. This includes permanent employees as well as temporary, part-time, and seasonal employees.
If you have contractors that you hire, and they make more than $2,500 per year (this can help exclude things such as newspaper routes), you are required to report them. Specifically excluded are licensed professionals such as lawyers and accountants you hire for their services. However, you only need to report contractors if the business has a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) - this helps exclude you from having to report your babysitter.
New hires can be reported through a mailed form or online at https://oh-newhire.com. At a minimum, each employer is required to provide its name, FEIN, and payroll processing address. If you use a payroll processing service of any sort, you will need to ask them for the proper address to use. If you do your own payroll you can use your business address.
You must make a report within 20 days after the date of hire, re-hire, or return to work of an employee. For contractors, the report is due within 20 days after you first pay them.
For your employees, the report must contain their name, address, social security number, and their date of hire/re-hire/return to work. If you have contractors, you need their name, address, social security number or FEIN, date you first pay them, and the length of time the contractor will be performing services (including indefinite).
What If I Fail to Report My Employees and Contractors?
If you fail to report your employees and contractors, you can be levied a civil penalty of $25 per failure; if it is determined you conspired to either not provide information or to provide false information, the penalty is $250. While these are relatively minor amounts for small business owners with only a couple of employees or contractors, it can be more significant for large companies with hundreds or even thousands of employees.
While you are probably not going to have state agents breaking your door down because you failed to file your new hire reports, for small business owners it is a relatively simple task that only takes a couple of minutes and ensures that you are compliant with your responsibilities as an employer.