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What if an employee has more than one wage assignment going on simultaneously?

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Q. We have an employee for whom we have received two wage assignments. Which creditor do we pay? Both proportionally, or just the first one? Or do we alternate?

A.
Wage assignments are honored on a first-come, first-served basis. The total of all wages deducted may not exceed the limitations for one assignment.

Those limitations are the lesser of (1) 15% of weekly gross wages or (2) the amount by which the disposable earnings for a week (pay remaining after federal and state taxes, Social Security deductions and any other amounts required by law to be withheld, including required retirement contributions) exceed 45 times the federal minimum wage, unless a notice of defense is received within that five-day period. The employer shall be paid a fee of $12 for each wage assignment. That $12 is credited against the debt.

There are no legal notification requirements if an employer is unable to honor a wage assignment because of multiple wage assignments, but the better practice is for the employer to send a letter to the creditor indicating that the wage assignment cannot be honored at this time and stating the expected date on which the wage assignment will be honored.

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