Oregon Garnishment laws & HR compliance analysis

Oregon Garnishment: What you need to know

A garnishment is an order of a court to an employer or the employer's agent (e.g., supervisor or human resources officer) to withhold a sum of money from an employee's earnings for payment of a debt. The state of Oregon draws a distinction between garnishments for support obligations and garnishments for other debts. There are numerous state and federal laws pertaining to garnishment. Where state law is more restrictive than federal law, then state law will govern.
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Debts other than support. When a creditor issues a proper writ of garnishment and delivers the document to the employer, the employer must prepare a response within 7 calendar days. If the 7th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the deadline is extended to the next day. The employer need not respond if the writ is not delivered within 60 days of its date of issuance, if the required items are not delivered with the writ (response form, instructions, and wage exemption calculation form), or if the garnishment has been released or if any other law or court order directs that no response be made. Even if a response is not required, the garnishee may wish to send a letter to the court administrator and/or the garnisher explaining the basis for not responding, in order to avoid being ordered to appear in person and explain the failure or refusal to respond. The employer must process the garnishment, first examining the writ to determine if it is properly issued, then completing the wage exemption calculation form provided. The writ must have been issued by a court administrator, a licensed Oregon attorney, a child support administrator with the Department of Justice, or the district attorney’s office. The employer is ...

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