How to Handle a Payroll Wage Garnishment

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					?Did you just receive a notice in the mail stating you need to garnish the wages of one
of your employees? Do you know what to do or what the notice even means? Wage
garnishment is the act of deducting money from an employee's salary, in most case in
result of a court order. The Federal Government puts a limit of 25% on the amount of
garnishment that can be taken out of the employee's income. Garnishments continue
until the total balance is paid. Your employee can receive a garnishment on a number
of types of debts, but the most common are taxes, child support, unpaid student loans,
and unpaid court fines.

You must give the garnishment order you received in the mail immediately to your
payroll department. It's imperative that attention is given to the garnishment order
immediately, as most garnishments are time sensitive. Once you the business owner
have received the garnishment order, the responsibility is on you as well as the
employee. If you do not process the garnishment in a timely manner penalties can
occur for your company.

Once a garnishment is received by the payroll department this order must be
examined, set up in the payroll system, and processed. You should already have
specific steps in place to take when receiving a garnishment in order to make sure
nothing is missed. Your payroll department should never try to process a garnishment
from memory, no matter how much experience they might have mistakes can still be

One of the first steps the payroll department should take is verifying that the
employee the garnishment was received for is even still a current employee. Your
payroll department must verify the social security and name for the employee shown
on the garnishment order. If either the name or the social security number doesn't
match, this doesn't necessarily mean the garnishment is invalid. Your payroll company
should immediately contact the party issuing the garnishment and ensure the
garnishment was not sent in error. Once the garnishment order has indeed been
validated, you must inform your employee. The employee must be notified in a timely
fashion or you can be held accountable.

The payroll department must then handle the payment of the garnishment to the party
the garnishment was sent from. Every garnishment is different, so you must find out
payment due dates to ensure you pay the payments on time. To make sure all
garnishments are paid on time your payroll department should have specific
guidelines in place, something like paying all garnishments on the same day each
payroll can really help.

Completing processing of wage garnishments is challenging and very time consuming
for most companies. Make sure you are keeping your company in compliance with
wage garnishment requirements. The first step is taking the time to put specific
guidelines in place are a must to ensure wage garnishments are completed timely and

If you have more questions about handling a garnishment, please contact Pink Payroll.
We are experienced at handling wage garnishments for the hundreds of clients we
have. We can give you some tips, and you might even find that the cost to outsource
your payroll is much more affordable than dealing with these headaches and hassles

Go to to get more information, or to contact owner and author Erica Phillips. You may
also call us at (800) 995-0308.