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Tips for Processing Garnishment Orders

June 17, 1999
Related Topics: Finance/Taxes, Wages and Hours, Policies and Procedures, Featured Article
Issue: An employee of your company who recently had a new home built owes money to the general contractor, who has commenced with garnishment proceedings in order to collect the debt. Your company has received the wage deduction order, but to complicate things the employee is challenging the amount of the order. How should you proceed toward processing the wage deduction?

Answer: Follow these guidelines for procedures that employers should follow each time a wage deduction order is processed:

Tips for processing payroll deductions:

  • Read the order as soon as it is received.
  • Provide the employee with a copy of the wage deduction order. (Note that the employer may not be legally required to do so.)
  • Determine the purpose of the wage deduction order. In other words, is this a tax levy, child support order, debt, etc.?
  • Determine what portion of the employee’s wages may be exempt from the order.
  • Determine in what priority multiple orders (if any) against the same employee must be satisfied.
  • Answer the wage deduction order as stated on the face of the order or as required by state law.
  • Withhold from the employee’s wages the amount required by the order. Begin to withhold based upon the order, even if the employee is currently challenging the legitimacy and/or amount of the order.

SOURCE: CCH Incorporated is a leading provider of information and software for human resources, legal, accounting, health care and small business professionals. CCH offers human resource management, payroll, employment, benefits, and worker safety products and publications in print, CD, online and via the Internet. For more information and other updates on the latest HR news, check our Web site at

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion.

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