Colorado employers who contract with The Work Number should prepare to receive more employment verification letters from county offices of the Colorado Division of Child Support Services (CSS). Please read the following letter from CSS:
The Colorado Division of Child Support Services (CSS) would like to request the cooperation of our State’s employers. Going forward, county CSS offices will be sending employment verification letters to employers who have The Work Number as their employment verifier.
County CSS offices formerly were able to verify employment through The Work Number; however, they are no longer able to do so. Although we realize that this is an additional requirement for employers who have contracted with The Work Number, the county CSS offices have no other option at present.
Colorado law requires employers to respond to CSS office requests to provide information on employment, compensation, and benefits for anyone for whom they have this information on record. County CSS offices need this information to enforce support orders. Going forward, employers will have to respond to the employment verification letters issued by the county CSS offices, even if they have an existing contract with The Work Number.
We asked CSS a few follow-up questions and they graciously responded. Here are those questions and answers:
Is there a penalty for employers who fail to provide the information?
No. There is no specific penalty under Colorado law.
Are employers protected in providing this information?
Yes. The same law that requires employers to provide this information also protects them from liability.
Can employers provide health insurance information without violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)?
Yes. The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has responded to this question at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/medical-support-enforcement-under-iv-d-program-phi-hipaa. In its response, the OSCE cites a portion of HIPAA’s Privacy Rule, which it interprets as giving CSS authority to collect this information from employers.