All "earnings" are subject to wage garnishment. Florida Statute § 222.11 defines "earnings" in the context of wage garnishment as "compensation paid or payable, in money or a sum certain, for personal services or labor, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, or bonus."
The case of In re Branscum, 229 B.R. 32 examined whether money received by an independent contractor are "earnings" within this definition. That court held:
"It is the Trustee's position that respectable authorities construing this Statute hold that the exemption provided by the Statute is not available to independent contractors or individuals engaged in business as sole proprietors. Rather, the exemption is available only to individuals whose earnings are derived from wages, salaries or commission."
In other words, money received by an independent contractor is not subject to wage garnishment. Thus, there would not typically be any legal obligation to comply with a wage garnishment request for an independent contractor.
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