Ohio Garnishment laws & HR compliance analysis

Ohio Garnishment: What you need to know

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.
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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.
Disposable earnings defined. In Ohio, "disposable earnings" is defined as net earnings minus the deductions required by law .
The federal Family Support Enforcement Act (42 USCS 666 et seq.) authorizes states to pass their own implementing legislation to ensure collection of family support; states that do not do so lose federal subsidies. Ohio has passed a state support collection law (OH Rev. Code Sec. 3121.03et seq.) that mandates that a garnishment be authorized as soon as a court orders child or spousal support, even though an employee's wages may not need to be garnished. In other words, the employer will receive a garnishment notice for an employee only if the employee does not pay the support.
Priority of garnishments. Family support garnishments take priority over consumer garnishments, regardless of when received (OH Rev. Code Sec. 3121.034).
Support order. A support order will specify the amount to be withheld from each paycheck and will provide other relevant information and instructions (OH Rev. Code Sec. 3121.032). The amount that may be withheld is limited to no more than 60 percent of disposable pay (wages ...

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