Legal Updates


September 11, 2018

As the 2018-19 school year begins, most school districts have hired at least one new employee or re-hired a former employee.  School districts and other employers must adhere to the Wisconsin New Hire Law by reporting these newly hired and re-hired employees to a state directory. 

Wis. Stat. § 103.05 requires all employers to report newly hired and re-hired employees to the state directory within twenty (20) calendar days of the employee’s date of hire or re-hire.  An individual is considered an “employee” for purposes of this law if the employee has completed and submitted a W-4 form.  There is no minimum number of hours or days worked for purposes of coverage as an “employee” under this law.  However, poll workers and substitute teachers are explicitly excluded from the definition of “employee”.  Wis. Admin. Code § DWD 142.02(7).  An employee is considered a “new re-hire” if he or she returned to work after a separation for at least ninety (90) consecutive days.  The “date of hire” is the first day an employee performs services for the employer.

Employers may submit the report online1, by mail2, or by fax.3  The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (Department) created a form for employers to use to submit the report.  Wis. Admin. Code § 142.03(2).  However, employers are not required to utilize the form.  Employers may also submit a copy of the employee’s completed W-4 form as an alternative to the Department’s form for employers.

Employers must submit the employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), name and address, as well as the employee’s name, mailing address, social security number, date of hire, and date of birth to the state directory.  Employers are authorized, but not required, to submit the employer’s phone number, fax number, email address, and contact name.

If a school district has failed to file the New Hire Report recently or ever, it may still file such a report regarding new hires and re-hires that have been hired within the last one hundred and eighty (180) days.

An employer who fails to report new hires and new re-hires as required by law may be required to forfeit up to $25 for each employee concerning whom a violation has occurred.  An employer, who conspires with an employee to not submit complete information or to submit false information, may be required to forfeit $500 for each incident of conspiracy.  The Department will notify an employer of a violation of the Wisconsin New Hire Law and provide the employer with the opportunity to correct the violation before imposing a forfeiture under the law.

The state directory is intended to assist with the collection of child support and to prevent fraud in welfare, worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance.  Wisconsin’s child support computer system compares the information submitted by employers with open child support cases in order to locate non-custodial parents to establish paternity and enforce child support orders.  Other Wisconsin agencies also can use this information to determine whether employees are receiving fraudulent payments of benefits, such as unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, and welfare.

For questions regarding this article, please contact the author, Attorney Shana R. Lewis (email:; telephone: 844.626.0902), or your Strang, Patteson, Renning, Lewis & Lacy, s.c., attorney.


[2] Wisconsin New Hire Reporting, P.O. Box 14431, Madison, WI 53708-0431

[3] Toll Free: (800) 277-8075

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