Question

Can the company I work for garnish my entire check?

I supposedly owe the company I work for around $1000 for health insurance. The company was not taking the right amount out of my checks for months and sent me a bill for $1000 telling me to pay or they will cancel my insurance in 30 days. The woman at corporate got fired for this but I guess it is still my fault. This was 2 years ago. I just recieved my check this week and it was zero. My company took every penny for this insurance crap. Is this legal?

6 years ago - 7 answers

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We had a similar situation with an employee at my job. For some reason, his insurance premiums had not come out of his check for several months. The benefits administrator fixed his account and put through a deduction that would bring him up to date.

Unfortunately, bringing him up to date meant taking his entire paycheck for about a month. When I questioned it, I was told that his insurance premiums are NOT considered a garnishment (they are a voluntary benefit he signed up for) and were not subject to the maximum garnishment restrictions.
They told me that since he had signed up for benefits, he knew how much was supposed to be coming out of his check each week. He never notified us that it wasn't being deducted properly.

In the end, the payroll manager and I had to allow the deductions to go through so that his insurance coverage would be current. To be kind, my manager advanced him same the amount from the payroll account and we let him pay that back in smaller weekly increments over time so he could pay his bills that month. It was bending some rules but we felt we needed to take care of our employee. In my company, the payroll department has absolutely no control over benefits deductions.

In this case, it was legal for the company to take his entire check. It wasn't right but it was legal. Raise hell with your HR and payroll departments---they may be able to help you out a little. It's not fair to take someone's entire pay. Maybe they could let you cash out some vacation or sick time to cover this bill. Maybe they could give you a small advance. Get creative and be persistent. (I can't tell you how many phone calls I got over the situation I described at the top---but we found a way to get the employee's insurance current and get him a paycheck)

Source(s):

6 years ago

Other Answers

No, call the labor board

by hooterville - 6 years ago

While they can probably garnish money out of your check for payment, taking the entire check until the delinquency is paid doesn't seem fair. Is there someone in payroll or benefits that can be reasoned with to work out a payment schedule. Pay it back $50 a week for 20 weeks. Perhaps your supervisor can intervene on your behalf. To leave you with no pay is totally unreasonable.

by Angie - 6 years ago

Call your local labor board to find out..but they should have worked with you and took a little every week until it was paid back.....

by MC - 6 years ago

maybe the legal aid society could help

by albutropin - 6 years ago

NO!!!! you work for the money and if you didnt sign anything allowing them to deduct then, they are in the wrong.....get a lawyer......you've been had....

by blueeyes - 6 years ago

Likely not. Most states have a maximum amount that can be garnished - like 75% of your check. But you'll need to contact your state labor board to have state specific information.

Source(s)

by mbrcatz17 - 6 years ago