IMPORTANT Revisions to U.S. Department of Labor/Federal WH-347 Reporting Mandates Regarding Protecting the Privacy of Workers.
January 9, 2009
All prime/general contractors and subcontractors required to file the Federal WH-347 Certified Payroll form on prevailing wage projects.
On October 20, 2008 the U.S. Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register (73 FR 62229) which invited comments until November 19, 2008, on proposed revisions to update current regulatory standards in order to better protect worker privacy for contracts covering federally financed and federally-assisted construction contracts. Specifically the proposed revisions affect the reporting of employee addresses and social security numbers on the Federal WH-347 certified payroll reports.
According to recent information released in the Federal Register (73 FR 77504) published on 12/19/08, revised reporting requirements ONLY for the U.S. Department of Labor Form WH-347 begin on January 18, 2009.
What are the new reporting requirements and how do they protect worker privacy?
The bottom line, according to the Federal Register (73 FR 77504), is that beginning on January 18, 2009 you are no longer required to report your employees address and social security number on your weekly certified payroll reports when you file the Federal/U.S. Department of Labor WH-347 form.
HOWEVER, as with any government decisions there are always exceptions and “gray areas. ”
* These are the gray areas that we discovered and want to make you aware of:
- On 12/19/08, the Department of Labor published its final rule regarding the requirement of including employee home addresses and social security numbers on certified payrolls that are submitted to federal agencies in compliance with the Copeland “Anti-Kickback” and Davis-Bacon Acts.
- Effective 1/18/09, both contractors and subcontractors who are working on federally financed and/or assisted construction projects will no longer be required to list the home addresses and social security numbers on the certified payrolls. INSTEAD, the payrolls shall only need to include an individually identifiable number for each employee – it is suggested that this be the last four digits of the employee’s social security number.
- Contractors and subcontractors will still be required to submit weekly certified payrolls, along with a signed Statement of Compliance.
- The payrolls submitted shall include the following information:
- Name of each employee
- A unique individually identifiable number for each employee, or as it was suggested, the last 4 digits of the employee social security number
- His/her correct classification
- Hourly rates of pay, including any cash fringe benefits paid
- Daily and weekly number of hours worked
- Deductions made and actual wages paid
- The Prime/General Contractor is still responsible for the submission of copies of any/all payrolls submitted by subcontractors. Both contractors and subcontractors shall maintain the full social security number and current address for each of their covered workers AND shall provide that information, upon request to any applicable agency involved with the project for the purpose of an investigation or compliance audit.
- A Prime/General Contractor may require a subcontractor to provide employee addresses and social security numbers for their own records under separate cover, without submitting that information along with the required weekly certified payroll reports.
* These gray areas will cause this ruling to be open to interpretation by anyone reading them, causing you to be requested to continue to report employee addresses and social security numbers, not required to submit addresses and social security numbers, AND to report no address and the last 4 digits of the employees social security number.
What about state specific and electronic filing requirements?
At this time we have no information regarding any changes to either state specific or electronic filing requirements. We will keep you updated as we find out this information via our On-Line Support Forum at https://www.sunburstsoftwaresolutions.com/certified-payroll-solution-forum/119-u.s.-dol-proposed-rule-hopes-to-protect-worker-privacy.htm
How will Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc. help us handle these changes?
Several months ago, we did release an updated version that would allow you to choose how you report employee social security numbers (see CPS System Setup -> System Preferences -> Settings tab -> SS # Format option initiated in version 5.0.278, August 2008) and we are currently working on a “forward thinking” update that will provide you with the ability to set “Job Defaults” for how you want to display the employee address and SS # on each form that you may be required to submit. You may, then, on a job-by-job (and form-by-form) basis further fine tune the settings for each individual job.
This update will provide you with full control and the means to easily change these printing preferences as any new state reporting mandates become available.
Full details will be provided separately from this notification by Tuesday January 13, 2009 in our Support Area – https://www.sunburstsoftwaresolutions.com/technical-support.htm , watch for updates.
Feel free to download the following additional documentation from our website for your review:
- Federal Register 73 FR 77504 – download from our website