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268.059 Garnishment for delinquent taxes and benefit overpayments.

(a) The commissioner or a delegated representative may, within six years after the date of assessment of the tax, or payment in lieu of contribution, or determination of benefit overpayment, or if a lien has been filed, within the statutory period for enforcement of the lien, give notice to any employer that an employee of that employer owes delinquent reemployment insurance taxes or payments in lieu of contributions including penalties, interest, and costs, or has an unpaid benefit overpayment. The commissioner can proceed under this section only if the tax, payment in lieu of contributions, or benefit overpayment is uncontested or if the time for any appeal has expired. The commissioner shall not proceed under this section until the expiration of 30 calendar days after mailing to the debtor employee, at the debtor's last known address, a written notice of garnishment. The notice shall list:

(1) the amount of taxes, payments in lieu of contributions, interest, penalties, costs, or benefit overpayment due from the debtor;

(2) demand for immediate payment; and

(3) the commissioner's intention to serve a garnishment on the debtor's employer pursuant to this section.

The effect of the notice shall expire 180 calendar days after it has been mailed to the debtor provided that the notice may be renewed by mailing a new notice which is in accordance with this section. The renewed notice shall have the effect of reinstating the priority of the original claim. The notice to the debtor shall be in substantially the same form as that provided in section 571.72. The notice shall further inform the debtor of the wage exemptions contained in section 550.37, subdivision 14. If no statement of exemption is received by the commissioner within 30 calendar days from the mailing of the notice, the commissioner may proceed under this section. The notice to the debtor's employer may be served by mail or by delivery by an employee of the commissioner and shall be in substantially the same form as provided in section 571.75. Upon receipt of the notice, the employer shall retain the earnings due or to become due to the employee, the total amount shown by the notice, subject to the provisions of section 571.922. The employer shall continue to retain each pay period until the notice is released by the commissioner. Upon receipt of notice by the employer, the claim of the commissioner shall have priority over any subsequent garnishments or wage assignments. The commissioner may arrange between the employer and employee for retaining a portion of the total amount due the employee each pay period, until the total amount shown by the notice plus accrued interest has been retained.

The "earnings due" any employee is defined in accordance with section 571.921. The maximum garnishment allowed under this section for any one pay period shall be decreased by any amounts payable pursuant to a garnishment action with respect to which the employer was served prior to being served with the notice of delinquency, and any amounts covered by any irrevocable and previously effective assignment of wages; the employer shall give notice to the commissioner of the amounts and the facts relating to the assignment within ten days after the service of the notice of delinquency on the form provided by the commissioner as noted in this section.

(b) If the employee ceases to be employed by the employer before the full amount set forth in a notice of garnishment plus accrued interest has been retained, the employer shall immediately notify the commissioner in writing of the termination date of the employee and the total amount retained. No employer may discharge or otherwise discipline any employee by the reason of the fact that the commissioner has proceeded under this section. If an employer discharges an employee in violation of this provision, the employee shall have the same remedy as provided in section 571.927, subdivision 2.

(c) Within ten calendar days after the expiration of the pay period, the employer shall remit to the commissioner, on a form and in the manner prescribed by the commissioner, the amount retained during each pay period under this section.

(d) Paragraphs (a) to (c), except provisions imposing a liability on the employer for failure to retain or remit, shall apply to cases in which the employer is the United States or any instrumentality thereof or this state or any political subdivision thereof.

(e) The commissioner shall refund to the employee excess amounts retained from the employee under this section. If any excess results from payments by the employer because of willful failure to retain or remit as prescribed in paragraph (c), the excess attributable to the employer's payment shall be refunded to the employer.

(f) Employers required to retain delinquent amounts under this section shall not be required to compute any additional interest, costs, or other charges to be retained.

(g) An employer that fails or refuses to comply with the requirements of this section shall be liable as provided in section 268.058, subdivision 3, paragraph (i).

HIST: 1996 c 417 s 28; 1997 c 66 s 70,79

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes