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Registry set up to track deadbeats

July 02, 1997

By VANDANA SINHA

Staff Writer

In accordance with federal welfare reform legislation designed to track parents who owe child support, private and public employers must report all new hires to a state registry.

The state law that went into effect Tuesday applies to all private businesses, state and local governments, and nonprofit organizations covered by the Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law, which allows institutions to cut workers an unemployment check when they are laid off or dismissed, said Keith Snipes, spokesman for the Maryland Department of Human Resources.

While federal employers must report to a federal registry, businesses within Maryland must provide specific company and new employee information to the Maryland New Hire Registry, a Lockheed Martin IMS division established last year.

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In addition to the company name, address, federal employer identification number and state unemployment insurance account number, participating businesses and organizations will have to submit names, addresses, Social Security numbers and start dates of all full-time, part-time, rehired and seasonal employees hired after July 1, regardless of their places of residence.

Employers must either mail, fax, e-mail or phone in reports within 20 days of a hiring to avoid fines, said Ron Jury, director of communications for Lockheed Martin.

"This is to track people down and make sure child support payments are made," Jury said.

Nearly 50 percent of child support funds that the state Department of Human Resources receives comes from employees' garnished wages, so this mandate is especially useful, Snipes said.

The new law also will provide the state with information that will enable administrators to reduce incidents of welfare and unemployment fraud on the part of state residents who continue to apply for public assistance funds after they've gotten jobs, he said.

"We certainly have a great deal of confidence that the law will do what it was established to do," Snipes said.

Employers who want information about the new law can call 1-888-634-4737.

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