Thursday, February 06, 2014

Maryland Court of Appeals Will Review Case Alleging Over-Garnishment of Wages (Update: Affirmed)

  Bonita Marshall alleged that Safeway over-garnished her wages and the wages of similarly situated employees.  By so doing, Ms. Marshall argued Safeway violated the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law.  She sought back wages, triple damages, injunctive relief, class certification, and attorney's fees.

  Safeway admitted it over-garnished Ms. Marshall's wages.  But Safeway claimed it repaid her and changed its policies to insure the over-garnishment never happened again.

 The Court of Special Appeals ruled that Safeway did not withhold Ms. Marshall's wages in violation of the Wage Payment and Collection Law but garnished her wages.  The Court also noted Ms. Marshall had remedies in the case that led to the garnishment.  Ultimately, the Court affirmed the trial court's rulings denying class certification, injunctive relief, and damages.

The Court of Appeals granted certiorari on a wide variety of issues in the case, including whether the over-garnishment of wages is a claim under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law. 

UPDATE 1. Argument was held February 10, 2014.

UPDATE 2.  On March 26, 2014, the Court of Appeals issued its decision.  It affirmed the Circuit Court's decision.  The Court of Appeals did find that an employer violates the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law if it makes an unlawful deduction from an employee's wage.

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