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Child Support Division

Employers: National Medical Support Notice

Penalties

Employers who fail to comply with National Medical Support Notices (NMSNs) are subject to penalties set by state law. N.D.C.C. § 14-09-08.11(4) and N.D.C.C. § 14-09-09.3

14-09-08.11. Eligible child - Employer to permit enrollment - Employer duties and liabilities - Obligor contest.

  1. When an obligor is required to cover a child as a beneficiary under section 14-09-08.10, the child is eligible for health insurance coverage as a dependent of the obligor. If health insurance coverage required under section 14-09-08.10 is available through an employer, the employer must:
    1. Permit the obligor to enroll under family coverage any child who is otherwise eligible for coverage without regard to any open enrollment restrictions;
    2. If the obligor is enrolled but fails to make application to obtain coverage for the child, enroll the child under family coverage upon application by the obligee;
    3. Upon receipt of the national medical support notice issued under section 14-09-08.20:
      1. Comply with the provisions of the national medical support notice; and
      2. Transfer the national medical support notice to the insurer that provides any such health insurance coverage for which the child is eligible, within twenty business days after the date of the national medical support notice;
    4. Not disenroll or eliminate coverage for any child unless the employer has eliminated family health coverage for all of its employees or the employer is provided satisfactory written evidence that:
      1. The order issued under section 14-09-08.10 is no longer in effect; or
      2. The child is or will be enrolled in comparable coverage that will take effect no later than the effective date of disenrollment;
    5. Withhold from the obligor's compensation the obligor's share, if any, of premiums for health insurance coverage and pay this amount to the insurer;
    6. If the amount required to be withheld under subdivision e, either alone or when added to the total of any withholding required by an order issued under section 14-09-09.15, exceeds fifty percent of the obligor's disposable income, withhold fifty percent of the obligor's disposable income;
    7. In the case of an obligor contest under subsection 2, initiate and continue withholding until the employer receives notice that the contest is resolved; and
    8. Promptly notify the public authority, in the same manner as required under subsection 9 of section 14-09-09.16, whenever the obligor's employment is terminated.
  2. The obligor may contest the withholding provided for in subdivision e of subsection 1 by filing a request for a hearing within ten days of the date of the national medical support notice issued under section 14-09-08.20. If the obligor contests that withholding, the court shall:
    1. Hold a hearing within ten working days after the date of the request; and
    2. Confirm the withholding in the absence of a finding:
      1. Of a mistake of fact; or
      2. That the obligee is required to provide health insurance coverage pursuant to section 14-09-08.10.
  3. Withholding required by an order issued under section 14-09-09.15 must be satisfied before any payment is made to the insurer. If the amount remaining is insufficient to pay the obligor's share of premiums for health insurance coverage, the obligor may authorize additional withholding to pay the obligor's share. If the obligor does not authorize additional withholding, and the health insurance coverage will lapse as a result, the employer must promptly inform the public authority of the insufficiency.
  4. An employer receiving a national medical support notice under this section is subject to the same duties and liabilities as an income payer under section 14-09-09.3 unless the context indicates otherwise.
  5. For purposes of this section:
    1. "Employer" means an entity or individual who would be determined to be an employer under section 3401(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended [26 U.S.C. 3401(d)], and includes any governmental entity and any labor organization; and
    2. "Insurer" has the meaning provided in section 26.1-36.5-01.

14-09-09.3. Child support - Duties and liabilities of income payer under income withholding order.

  1. Any income payer failing to comply with this section or section 14 09 9.16 may be punished for contempt of court. The court shall first afford such income payer a reasonable opportunity to purge itself of such contempt.
  2. Any income payer who fails or refuses to deliver income pursuant to an income withholding order, when such income payer has had in its possession such income, is personally liable for the amount of such income which the income payer failed or refused to deliver, together with costs, interest, and reasonable attorney's fees. If an income payer fails or refuses to deliver income for more than fourteen business days after the date an obligor is paid, the court shall award damages in an amount equal to two hundred dollars or actual damages caused by the violation, whichever is greater, in addition to costs, interest, late fees, and reasonable attorney's fees. Any damages awarded under this subsection must be reduced by the amount of any late fees for the same payment which have been collected by the public authority under subsection 9 of section 14 09 09.3. Any damages collected by the public authority under this subsection must be paid to the state disbursement unit for distribution under section 14-09-25 and any remaining balance must be paid to the obligor. If an income payer has failed to deliver income for more than one obligor, any damages collected under this section must be divided equally among all affected obligors. Each remedy authorized in this subsection is a remedial sanction as defined in section 27-10-01.1.
  3. Any employer who refuses to employ, dismisses, demotes, disciplines, or in any way penalizes an obligor on account of any proceeding to collect child support, on account of any order or orders entered by the court in such proceeding, on account of the employer's compliance with such order or orders, or on account of an income withholding order, is liable to the obligor for all damages, together with costs, interest thereon, and reasonable attorney's fees resulting from the employer's action. The employer may be required to make full restitution to the aggrieved obligor, including reinstatements and backpay.
  4. An income payer may be enjoined by a court of competent jurisdiction from continuing any action in violation of section 14 09 09.16.
  5. Any contempt proceeding against an income payer under this section must be commenced within one year after the income payer's act or failure to act upon which such proceeding is based.
  6. Compliance by an income payer with an income withholding order operates as a discharge of the income payer's liability to the obligor as to that portion of the obligor's income so affected.
  7. In considering an income withholding order issued by a court or administrative tribunal in a state other than the state of the obligor's principal place of employment, the income payer shall apply the law of the state of the obligor's principal place of employment in determining any withholding terms and conditions not specified in the income withholding order or in section 14-12.2-33.1.
  8. An employer who complies with an income withholding order that is regular on its face is not subject to civil liability to any individual or agency for conduct in compliance with the order.
  9. An income payer who fails to deliver income for more than seven business days after the date one or more obligors are paid may be charged a late fee equal to twenty-five dollars per obligor for each additional business day the payment is delinquent or seventy-five dollars for each additional business day the payment is delinquent, whichever is greater. A late fee charged under this subsection is payable fifteen days after service on the employer, by first-class mail, of notice of the imposition of the late fee. Failure to pay a late fee under this subsection may be punished as a contempt of court. Any late fee collected by the public authority under this subsection must be paid to the state disbursement unit for distribution under section 14-09-25 and any remaining balance must be paid to the obligor. If an income payer has failed to deliver income for more than one obligor, any late fees collected under this section must be divided equally among all affected obligors.

 

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