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March 18, 2010
Handling Wage Garnishment Issues with an Angry Employee

In a BLR webinar entitled ‘Payroll: How To Legally Handle Tax Levies and Garnishments’, attorneys Clint Robison and Amy Jensen present possible unpleasant scenarios an employer can face with an employee regarding wage garnishments.

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If an employee approaches you angrily, waving her paycheck around, wanting to know why you garnished her wages and claiming that there is no basis for this garnishment and that she didn’t know about it. She demands that you immediately re-issue her paycheck for the full amount. What do you do?

The following are steps an employer can use in this situation:

  • Explain to the employee that nothing can be done to return the money to him or her
  • Let the employee know that the employer is merely the conduit or the intermediary and is also required by law to comply with the garnishment order
  • As a last resort, the employer can also refer the employee to the agency that issued the garnishment order

Clint Robison is a highly regarded employment attorney providing counseling and litigation services to public and private companies. He is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Hinshaw & Culbertson, one of the largest and oldest law firms in the country and can be reached at 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

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