When I started working as a contract employee with an employer, they paid for my hotel for the first 3 weeks and we have a signed agreement that they would take out the money from my paycheck every week for 6 weeks. However, my contract was terminated by the employer prior to the 6 weeks of our agreement and there was still a balanced owed. I informed the agency that I would continue to honor the signed agreement by paying each week. However, when I recieved my last paycheck, they garnished the whole amount of the balance of about $1100, leaving me strapped in a way I can’t pay rent and food and gas and make my bills.
They did this without my knowledge or approval. I had no problem with the agreement in place and they have done this on more than one occasion with me not informing me of what money they will take out of my check for child support as well. I see it that they just do whatever they want to do with my money that I earned and without any notification or warning. This has caused great havoc in my life as you can imagine. The State of Connecticut Labor Dept. said, after its investigation, that the employer was within their legal rights to garnish 67% of my check and without any notification needed.
Your next step should be to consult an employment attorney, as well as perhaps an attorney who specializes in child support issues. Depending on your state’s laws, your employer may not have had a choice in garnishing the child support–it may have been required by the state. A family law attorney may be able to help you work with the state to either change your child support obligations, or to provide you with some short-term relief while you get yourself back on your financial feet. Similarly, if the state Department of Labor has determined that the employer was within its rights to garnish the cost of the hotel, then your options for a civil suit may be limited. An attorney specializing in employment law will be able to advise you as to potential legal arguments you could make and their likelihood for success. You can then make your decision as to whether a civil suit is a viable option for you.
Your second question is an important one. In legal terminology, you’re asking whether your state has jurisdiction over the employer, who is located in another state. If the company operates in your state, even if it is located elsewhere, then your state will have jurisdiction over the company. If, however, the company’s only contact with your state is you, and if the company brought you into its state for your employment activities, then your state may not have jurisdiction over the company. This is a legal question that the employment law attorney will be able to help you address.