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Employers Obtain Relief From Oppressive and Risky Michigan Wage Garnishments

A wage garnishment is a court order that assists plaintiffs with the collection of judgments. Such an order requires an entity to withhold money (i.e., wages) owed to a judgment debtor and divert it to a judgment creditor in order to satisfy the judgment debt. An order for a wage garnishment is startlingly complex to administer and very risky for employers. For instance, if an employer does not timely answer a Michigan garnishment within 14 days, or fails to do any other act required by the court, it is subject to a judgment against it for the full amount of the employee’s debt.

Michigan Electronic Pay Amendment Takes Effect

Effective December 21, 2010, the Michigan Wages and Fringe Benefits Act (MWFBA) was amended permitting Michigan employers to require their Michigan-based employees be paid via direct deposit or via a payroll debit card. Previously, employers had to issue paper checks if the employee did not give his or her “full, free and written” consent to direct deposit. Likewise, unless payroll debit cards were in place prior to January 1, 2005, “full, free and written” consent also was required for use of payroll debit cards. Currently, most other states do not allow employers to require the use of direct deposit or payroll debit cards.
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