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268.059 Garnishment for delinquent taxes and benefit overpayments.

(a) The commissioner may give notice to any employer that an employee owes delinquent taxes, payments in lieu of taxes, or overpaid benefits, including penalties, interest, and costs, and that the obligation to the department should be withheld from the employee's wages. The commissioner may proceed only if the tax, payment in lieu of taxes, or benefit overpayment is uncontested or if the time for any appeal has expired. The commissioner shall not proceed until 30 calendar days after mailing to the debtor employee, at the debtor's last known address, a written notice of intent to garnish wages and exemption notice. That notice shall list:

(1) the amount of taxes, payments in lieu of taxes, overpaid benefits, interest, penalties, or costs due from the debtor;

(2) demand for immediate payment; and

(3) the intention to serve a garnishment notice on the debtor's employer.

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 that is in accordance with this section. The renewed notice shall have the effect of reinstating the priority of the original notice. The exemption notice shall be in substantially the same form as in section 571.72. The notice shall inform the debtor of the right to claim exemptions contained in section 550.37, subdivision 14. If no written claim of exemption is received by the commissioner within 30 calendar days after mailing of the notice, the commissioner may proceed with the garnishment. The notice to the debtor's employer may be served by mail and shall be in substantially the same form as in section 571.75. Upon receipt of the garnishment notice, the employer shall withhold from the earnings due or to become due to the employee, the amount shown on the notice plus accrued interest, subject to section 571.922. The employer shall continue to withhold each pay period the amount shown on the notice plus accrued interest until the garnishment 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 withholding a portion of the total amount due the employee each pay period, until the total amount shown on the notice plus accrued interest has been withheld.

The "earnings due" any employee is as defined in section 571.921. The maximum garnishment allowed for any one pay period shall be decreased by any amounts payable pursuant to any other garnishment action served prior to the garnishment notice, 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 garnishment notice on the form provided by the commissioner.

(b) If the employee ceases to be employed by the employer before the full amount set forth on the garnishment notice plus accrued interest has been withheld, the employer shall immediately notify the commissioner in writing of the termination date of the employee and the total amount withheld. No employer may discharge or discipline any employee because the commissioner has proceeded under this section. If an employer discharges an employee in violation of this section, 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 withheld during each pay period.

(d) Paragraphs (a) to (c) shall apply if the employer is the state of Minnesota or any political subdivision.

(e) The commissioner shall refund to the employee any excess amounts withheld from the employee.

(f) An employer that fails or refuses to comply with 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; 1998 c 265 s 18

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes