A garnishment is an order of a court to an employer (the garnishee) to withhold a sum of money from the earnings of an employee (the debtor) for payment of a court- or agency-ordered debt. There are numerous state and federal laws pertaining to the procedure. Where state law is more restrictive than federal law (i.e., protects more of the employee's salary from garnishment), then state law will govern (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 405.465et seq.; Sec. 425.501et seq.; andSec. 427.010et seq.).
Garnishment vs. assignment of wage. Garnishment and assignment of wages are both methods of deducting money from an employee's salary to repay his or her debts. Assignment of wages is generally a voluntary procedure in which the employee agrees to the deduction.A garnishment is an involuntary procedure that is usually applied because the employee has not paid his or her debts voluntarily.
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 that fail to respond to a notice or in any way ignore a garnishment run the very real risk of being held personally liable for the entire judgment.