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March 15, 2010
Why Employers Should Not Keep Wage Garnishment Information in Personnel Files

In a BLR webinar entitled ‘Payroll: How To Legally Handle Tax Levies and Garnishments’, attorneys Clint Robison and Amy Jensen explain why it is necessary for employers to keep employee-related wage garnishment and levy information separate from personnel files. Wage garnishments do not go with the personnel file because there may be circumstances throughout the individual’s employment where the personnel file may be used for other purposes such as:

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  • Performance evaluations
  • Raises and promotions
  • A possible investigation into unlawful acts such as sexual harassment or complaints by or against the employee

Garnishment orders have no business being in the middle of any of the above and can influence a decision maker if placed with personnel information, where it should not otherwise have an effect. Also, most law prohibits employee termination as a result of a garnishment. So, it is important to avoid any inference regarding termination that can be connected to a wage garnishment.

Clint Robison can be reached at crobison@hinshawlaw.com. He is a highly regarded employment attorney providing counseling and litigation services to public and private companies. He is also partner in the Los Angeles office of Hinshaw & Culbertson, one of the largest and oldest law firms in the country. Amy Jensen is a senior employment attorney in the firm's Los Angeles Office, who provides counseling and litigation services to a variety of companies. She can be reached at ajensen@hinshawlaw.com.

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