Wage Garnishment of Employee Benefits

Sometimes clients want to know if their employee benefits can be subject to wage garnishment.

The answer is no. Employee benefits cannot be garnished through a wage garnishment in Florida.

Court Interpretation

Florida courts have stated that the term “salary or wages” stated in the continuing garnishment statute must be strictly construed. One such case pointed out that wages encompass payment for labor based on time worked or quantity produced.

Salary is agreed on compensation for services, usually professional services, paid at regular intervals.

Courts have included sales commissions within the definition of wages for purposes of continuing garnishment and head of household exemption. I am not familiar with cases dealing with employee benefits given in consideration for employment.

Given the strict construction of these statutes, I think that employee benefits not paid at regular intervals and not given in consideration for time worked or production would not be within the scope of compensation subject to writs of garnishment even though they are paid to the employee for his labor.

The benefits are likely not subject to a continuing writ of garnishment given that a continuing writ only applies to salary or wages.

Jon Alper

About the Author

I’m a nationally recognized attorney specializing in asset protection planning. I graduated with honors from the University of Florida Law School and have practiced law for almost 50 years.

I have been recognized as a legal expert by media outlets such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. I have helped thousands of clients protect their assets from creditors.