Organizations on the hook for missed garnishments

Exemption maximums vary between provinces
By Zachary Pedersen
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 09/09/2013

Employers have an obligation to comply with government-ordered garnishment notices in the time prescribed by the notice, according to Sean Taylor, a lawyer at Bradley, Hiscock, McCracken in Ottawa.

“Ultimately, if an employer doesn’t either pay what it’s told to pay or explain why it’s paying less… then the employer becomes liable for that amount,” Taylor says, adding this is the case even if the reason payment wasn’t remitted is an accident.

An employer might receive a garnishment notice after a judgment has been rendered against the employee. This means a creditor has sued the employee and a judge has agreed the employee owes the debt. The employer, often referred to as the garnishee in court-ordered garnishment notices, then deducts the amount of the wage garnishment from the paycheque of the employee — normally referred to as the debtor. The garnishment continues until the debt is fully paid off.