Are Garnished Wages Without Notification Legal?

The manufacturing sector have the highest percentage of garnished employees, at 48%. The transportation and utilities sectors came next. Both with 42%.

Most people believe their employers must give them reasonable notice before wage garnishment.

Are garnished wages without notification legal? You might ask.

Read along to see the whole picture.

Garnished Wages Without Notification

A wage garnishment is an order that requires a person’s employer to withhold a certain amount of their wages and send it directly to the creditor.

In most states, court order can force employers to withhold a certain percentage of wages to pay for debts such as child support or alimony, or taxes.

In some states, creditors may also be able to get a wage garnishment without going through the courts.

Wage Garnishment Laws in the United States

A creditor or a court can order an employer to withhold up to 25% of a worker’s wages. The United States is one of few countries where wage garnishment is allowed.

It is illegal in many other countries. That includes Canada and most European Union member states.

Wage garnishment law in the United States varies from state-to-state and from person-to-person, depending on their salary and debts.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires debt collectors to give 30 days notice.

However, there are some circumstances where the debt collector may not have to give you this notice.

The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)  regulates wage garnishment. It also sets certain limits on how much can be taken from an employee’s wages.

What is the Difference Between a Wage Assignment and Wage Garnishments?

Wage garnishments are involuntary seizures of wages by a creditor. This can happen when a person owes back taxes or child support and has not been able to pay in full.

The difference between wage assignments and wage garnishments is voluntary vs involuntary seizure of wages by creditors.

What Are My Rights as an Employee?

Can I Fight a Wage Seizure?

The US court system has established that wages are a form of property and that employers have a right to seize them.

However, the law does not allow for wage seizure in certain circumstances, such as those when the employee is owed back pay or overtime.

What Are My Rights as an Employee?

An employer cannot take their employees’ wages to cover their own debts or debts incurred by the company. If this happens, then it is considered wage theft, and you can fight it in court.

IRS Wage Garnishment Release

You can have an IRS wage garnishment release if you pay your entire tax bill, or enter into a collection agreement. You can also apply for wage garnishment if have proof of financial hardship, or the collection period expires.

Beware, Garnished Wages Without Consent is Legal in the US

Garnished wages without notification are legal in the United States.

However, it is always best to err on the side of caution and notify your employees of any wage garnishments that may occur. This way, they can be prepared financially, and there are no surprises.

For more business and finance tips, see our latest content.


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