Must Employee Wage Garnishments Be Kept Confidential?

As few people as possible should know about the garnishment.

As few people as possible should know about the garnishment.

Wage garnishment is sometimes ordered by federal or state courts when you owe back taxes, alimony, child support and certain other debts. Typically, an employer is contacted by the government authority through certified mail. This garnishment cannot be strictly "confidential" because the employer must be informed about it in order to garnish the wages. However, as few people as possible within the organization should know about the garnishment. Ideally, only a payroll manager or person in charge of processing employment paychecks knows about the garnishment.

Benefits of Confidentiality

An organization can't legally terminate or discipline an employee over one garnishment directive, according to the United States Department of Labor website. Thus, keeping the garnishment confidential helps the company protect against a manager intentionally or subconsciously being hard on the worker. If only the payroll manager knows about the order, direct supervisors can manage the worker without knowledge of the garnishment.

 

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