Missouri Garnishment laws & HR compliance analysis

Missouri Garnishment: What you need to know

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. Missouri law draws a distinction between garnishments for support obligations and garnishments for other kinds of debts. 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.
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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 risk of being held personally liable for the entire judgment.
Exemptions. Benefits from a pension or retirement program are exempt from garnishment until actually paid to the employee. Such pension payments are then subject to the laws regarding maximum garnishments.
If there has been no voluntary income assignment made by the obligated party, the employer (public employers and employees are included) receives a notice or order of income withholding stating the amount to be withheld from each paycheck, including delinquency, if applicable. The employer must immediately give a copy of the order to the employee. Deductions must begin with the next paycheck, and the funds must be sent to the court or state agency within 7 days of payday. An employer that fails to withhold as directed may be cited for contempt of court and held personally liable for any withholdings not made (MO Rev. Stat. Sec. 452.350et seq.).
Withholding continues until further ...

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