Is it lawful for a contractor to withhold wages or garnish a check without a court order?

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Is it lawful for a contractor to withhold wages or garnish a check without a court order?

I was an independent contractor for a collections agency. I was told that I was responsible for a lawsuit and I would have to repay the company for the lawsuit that I caused. I’ve requested paperwork showing what I did to cause this lawsuit and this information has not been provided.I decided to give the company notice of resignment; the company fired me and demanded to the administrator that my check be remitted to the lawsuit. Is this illegal?

Asked on July 1, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From the way that you have phrased the question here I would have to say no, the entire situation does not sounds as if it has been handled properly  - albeit legally - by your employer.  First, if in fact the employer has been sued due to something that you allegedly did you are probably named in that lawsuit in the caption (the place at the top that names the parties: you would be a defendant) and what concerns me most is if they have answered for you and entered a defense on your behalf.  Otherwise you will be in default and a judgement can be issued against you.  They can not take your money like that either  I would seek help from an attorney in your area as soon as you can.  You may have been covered by their insurance but you at lease need to know the facts.  Good luck.


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