Wage garnishment is a process where a creditor or entity that you owe money takes it directly from your paycheck. It may happen for many reasons, such as to pay child support or to repay a debt.
When you have a wage garnishment, it is the responsibility of your employer to ensure payment. Having to do wage garnishments can be an annoyance to an employer and you may hear of their dissatisfaction with having to do it. It might make you worry that your employer will fire you so that it does not have to mess with the garnishment or that you will be left with no money in your paycheck.
Losing your job
The Maryland Judiciary explains that your employer cannot fire you because you have a wage garnishment. However, there are conditions. The law protects you from losing your job if you have one garnishment per year. If you have multiple garnishments, the law does not protect you from discharge.
If your employer does fire you for having one wage garnishment in a year, it commits a misdemeanor crime. The penalty is up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
Losing your income
You should note that your employer also must follow the law when garnishing your wages. The federal law sets the limits for how much a garnishment may take from your paycheck. In general, the law states you must have no more than 25% of your wages taken through garnishment. There are other guidelines if you earn minimum wage or close to minimum wage.
The court should handle ensuring too much is not taken, but you need to verify it. Your employer can only follow the court order and cannot make changes to it.