A “garnishment” is a court order to an employer to withhold a sum of money from an employee's earnings for payment of a debt. Florida law draws a distinction between garnishments for support obligations and garnishments for other kinds of debts. Garnishments for support are valid against any Florida employee. Garnishments for other debts are valid only against employees earning $500 or more per week who are not heads of families.
There are numerous state and federal laws pertaining to garnishment. Where state laws are more restrictive than federal law (i.e., by protecting a greater amount of salary from garnishment), state laws will govern.
Respond promptly. An employer that is served with a wage garnishment must respond promptly to the notice and any other court papers regarding garnishment. Employers failing to respond to a notice or in any way ignoring a garnishment run the very real risk of being held personally liable for the entire judgment.
Garnishment and wage assignment. Garnishment and assignment of wages are both methods of deducting money from an employee's salary to repay his or her debts. An assignment of wages generally is a voluntary procedure in which the employee agrees to the deduction, while garnishment is an involuntary procedure that is usually applied because the employee has not paid the debt voluntarily.