The government can mandate the garnishment of an employee's
wages in order to pay back the overdue portion of an outstanding student loan.
Garnishment orders can be issued either by the Department of Education or a
state guarantee agency, depending on which is guaranteeing the loan. Upon
receipt of the order, the employer must give an employee 30 days notice prior to
making deductions from his or her wages. An employee cannot be fired from work
because of the garnishment order; an employer that does so is liable for the
employee's lost wages. Also, if an employer neglects to withhold the authorized
garnishment amount, it is liable for the amount that was not withheld.