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Can employer garnish wages - PA

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  • Can employer garnish wages - PA

    Can an employer (veterinarian) garnish his employees' wages to cover unpaid bills incurred by the employees? This individual sent out a memo on payday and garnished the wages simultaneously. Tx.

  • #2
    In the vast majority of States, an employer may only take payroll deductions that have been specifically authorized by the employee.

    What sort of "unpaid bills incurred by employees" are you referring to?

    Comment


    • #3
      Veterinary Bills

      Vet care/pharmaceuticals bills incurred by the employees for their own animals.

      Comment


      • #4
        The odds are very high that the vet cannot take these payroll deductions without the employees' authorizations. Employees are free to contact your State's Department of Labor and file a complaint.

        I'm going to guess that the vet only did this as a last-ditch resort after these bills went unpaid for some time though. Not that I condone the vet violating wage and hour laws but do keep in mind that (1) it would be completely lawful for the vet to fire anyone and everyone who had an outstanding vet bill, (2) the vet could certainly get a collection agency to start dogging every employee who owes him money, and (3) the vet could go to court and get a bonafide garnishment against every employee who owes him money - and that would cost each employee even more because they would also have to pay the court costs.

        So before you or anyone gets on the phone to the DOL, my advice would be to speak with the vet individually and work out a payment plan that is agreeable to both parties. The doctor deserves to be paid for his services and the medications he dispenses regardless of whether the pet owner works for him or not.

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        • #5
          Good Advice

          Sounds like good advice to me. I'll let my friend know. I think there are a lot of labor issues in this practice. The vet/owner oversees a huge practice and over 100 employees and he is a quintessential doctor ... not a businessman!

          Comment

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