A woman in New York has filed a class-action lawsuit against the federal Department of Education and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over the garnishment of wages to pay back federal student loans.
Politico reports that plaintiff Elizabeth Barber “on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated”, has sued DeVos and the department for continuing to garnish her wages after passage of the CARES act, which was supposed to suspend such activity. Barber claims in the suit that there are some 285,000 people in a similar situation.
The government withheld $70 from Barber’s paycheck in April.
DeVos announced in March that the department would stop withholding payments from paychecks of people who were in default for their student loans for at least two months. But the lawsuit contends that wages are still being garnished in violation of the CARES Act.
An Education Department spokesperson said that the department “has taken immediate action to notify employers to stop garnishing wages,” but would not comment specifically on the lawsuit.
Department officials have said that all wages seized by the government since President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13 would be repaid, but no timeline for such repayments has been established,
Knowing the way the federal government works, if you were one of those who has had money withheld, you might not want to hold your breath for your refund.