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Patrick, Esq.
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Category: California Employment Law
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I was on unempoyment I got a part time job I was told by the

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I was on unempoyment I got a part time job I was told by the EDD as long as I made under $400 dollars a week I could still collect my full benifits. A year later I get a letter from the EDD stating I owe them $15,000 in over payment with a penalty. I go to court and explain my situation I am cleared of fraud, but almost two years later the EDD is trying to sue me for $33,000 even after their judge decalres me innocent of intentionally trying to commit fraud. Now the EDD is trying ing to get a judgment agaist me to get the money possibly garnishing my wages. My question is considering I own no property or my home and I don't make $33,000 a year how much could they legally garnish from me and how do I go about stopping them?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

An overpayment of UE benefits can be the result of fraud or a good faith error. Just because the EDD determined that you did not commit fraud does not mean that it will not still try to seek repayment of the money.

Despite your income, a judgment can still conceivably be obtained against you for the entire amount that you allegedly owe. The amount of any wage garnishment, however, is regulated by federal law.

Specifically, Title III of the Consumer Creidt Protection Act "...protects employees by limiting the amount of earnings that may be garnished in any workweek or pay period to the lesser of 25 percent of disposable earnings or the amount by which disposable earnings are greater than 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by Section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. This limit applies regardless of how many garnishment orders an employer receives."

So, for example, if an employee earns $600 a week, the maximum garnishment amount under the 25 percent formula is $150 (25 percent of $600). Alternatively, using the minimum wage formula, the maximum garnishment amount is $382.50 (30 times the minimum wage of $7.25 is $217.50, which is then subtracted from the $600 net compensation). Therefore, since the rule says to use the "lesser" amount, the maximum garnishment would be $150.

To read Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, visit this link: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/statutes/garn01.pdf

Given the amount of money at stake, you may wish to hire an attorney to defend you in this matter. For attorney referrals, visit this link: http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/lris/directory/main.cfm?id=CA or visit http://www.martindale.com On MartinDale, you can search attorneys by their practice area. You will want an attorney who specializes in employment and labor matters.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the very best of luck. Bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

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