110-136.13. Employer responsibilities.

(a) For purposes of this section, G.S. 110-136.11, 110-136.12, and 110-136.14, the term "employer" means employer as is defined at 29 U.S.C. 203(d) in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

(b) Within 20 business days after the date of the National Medical Support Notice, the employer shall transfer the Notice to the health insurer or health care plan administrator that provides health benefit plan coverage for which the child is eligible unless one of following applies:

(1) The employer does not maintain or contribute to plans providing dependent or family health insurance.

(2) The employee is among a class of employees that are not eligible for family health benefit plan coverage under any group health plan maintained by the employer or to which the employer contributes.

(3) Health benefit plan coverage is not available because the employee is no longer employed by this employer.

(4) State or federal withholding limitations prevent the withholding from the obligor's income of the amount required to obtain insurance under the terms of the plan.

(c) If the employer is not required to transfer the Notice under subsection (b) of this section, then the employer shall, within the 20 business days after the date of the Notice, inform the agency in writing of the reason or reasons the Notice was not transferred.

(d) Upon receipt from the health insurer or health care plan administrator of the cost of dependent coverage, the employer shall withhold this amount from the obligor's wages and transfer this amount directly to the insurer or plan administrator.

(e) In the event the health insurer or health care plan administrator informs the employer that the Notice is not a "qualified medical child support order" (QMCSO), the employer shall notify the agency in writing.

(f) In the event the health insurer or health care plan administrator informs the employer of a waiting period for enrollment, the employer shall inform the insurer or administrator when the employee is eligible to be enrolled in the plan.

(g) An employer obligated to provide health benefit plan coverage pursuant to this section shall inform the IV-D agency upon termination of the noncustodial parent's employment within 10 business days. The notice shall be in writing to the agency and shall include the obligor's last known address and the name and address of the new employer, if known.

(h) In the event the employee contests the withholding order, the employer shall initiate and continue the withholding until the employer receives notice that the contested case is resolved.

(i) An employer shall not discharge from employment, refuse to employ, or otherwise take disciplinary action against any obligor solely because of the withholding.

(j) If a court finds that an employer has failed to comply with this section, the employer is liable as a payor pursuant to G.S. 110-136.8(e). Additionally, an employer who violates this section is liable in a civil action for reasonable damages. (2001-237, s. 10; 2004-203, s. 9.)