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That Garnishment Is Going to Leave a Mark.....

If you're a career HR pro, you've dealt with garnishments.  It really doesn't matter what career level you are, because wage garnishments ultimately find their way to you.  Even if you're the VP of HR, wage garnishments are your problem in one of the three following flavors:

A.  "Boss, take a look at this wage garnishment.  There's no one here by that name and theShrushy properties government keeps sending us these and they won't stop sending them.  What should we do?"

B.  "Boss, take a look at this wage garnishment.  I know by law we can only take 25% of the employee's post tax paycheck to pay the garnishment, but this one's so big the system we use won't let us automate the deduction that many times.  What do we do?"

C.  "Boss, Ricky is in the lobby.  He says the garnishment we're deducting isn't right and the social agency has it all wrong".

Based on which my answers are:

A.  "Send the agency a letter a day until they send us a confirmation back."
B.  "I'd use Outlook to create a reminder to set up another automation rule in the HRMS once this one runs out." Just sayin...
C.  "Did Ricky bring photo albums?  Because if he did, I'm in a meeting.."

So you've got garnishment questions... Great, because I've got answers... But there's one question I've always had- what happens when someone takes a million+ dollar judgment in civil suit?  Does the garnishment follow them around for the rest of their life, deducting 25% of their check at a time, a thousand cut process (or a hundred thousand cut process) that is the equivalent of garnishment purgatory?

What's got me asking that question?  The following civil suit judgment against former Healthsouth CEO Richard Scrushy:

"In what is believed to be the largest financial penalty ever against an individual executive, an Alabama state judge ordered Richard Scrushy to pay shareholders $2.88 billion after ruling against Scrushy in a civil suit related to a massive six-year accounting fraud at HealthSouth, according to The Wall Street Journal and The National Law Journal, an Am Law Daily sibling publication.

The judgment, which came after a nonjury trial against Scrushy, immediately raised questions about how much Scrushy would ever be able to pay. His net worth has been assessed in the past at $300 million, but his attorneys told the WSJ that number is inaccurate. Scrushy's co-lead attorney, Jack McNamee of Birmingham-based McNamee & Miller, told the paper he doesn't know exactly how much Scrushy is worth, but that, "I can tell you it's not $2.8 billion." (Scrushy, once one of the more flamboyant CEOs in the U.S., is still believed to own several homes and a yacht, the WSJ says. But he's spent an estimated $23 million on legal fees, the paper says.)"

That garnishment's going to leave a mark.  And if Richard ever comes to me to challenge the garnishment?  I'll need a spin through the photo albums.  Holla if you've ever had a garnishment challenge involve photo albums (which is a obvious hat tip to paternity).  I have...


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