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Even Small Companies Must Comply With Garnishments

Even Small Companies Must Comply With Garnishments
Admin - Thu Apr 26, 2012 @ 02:21PM
Comments: 17

If you are a small Internet/web company of only 5 people and you don't even have a physical location, if you receive a wage garnishment Notice, you have to answer it. You can't just say "what is wage garnishment to me?" and throw it in the trash. Or, "We don't do garnishments." Granted, you may have grounds for arguing against it, like lack of jurisdiction, or that you no longer employ whomever the garnishment is after, but you still have to file a timely answer. In the answer you can state whatever arguments you might have. That is your right. Additionally, you can't fire your employees just because they have gotten into this trouble and caused you the hardship of filling out extra paperwork and possibly bearing the cost of paying your payroll provider an extra fee for cutting two checks instead of one each pay period. The Consumer Credit Protection Act protects your employees from you firing them for being garnished, at least for the first judgment they get against them. So, don't fire an employee for being garnished unless you want to risk being sued for their lost wages and a bunch of other things beyond the scope of this article.

Speaking of damages and trouble, if you fail to answer a garnishment letter, you can be on the hook for anything you should have paid out according to the garnishment, plus costs and attorney's fees. It doesn't matter if you end up paying the same wages twice. So answer any garnishment notices you get, else you might be found in contempt of court. So remember, saying "What is a wage garnishment anyway?" Or, "We don't answer them," is not an appropriate answer. Every employer must respond appropriately as a matter of law, even if you are a small technology company with only 5 employees and you have no physical location. Perhaps you do have a defense, but put it in your answer. You already have enough problems with too much paperwork!

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