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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Wages

Garnishment

Wage garnishment is a legal procedure in which a person’s earnings are required by court order to be withheld by an employer for the payment of a debt such as child support. Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) prohibits an employer from discharging an employee whose earnings have been subject to garnishment for any one debt, regardless of the number of levies made or proceedings brought to collect it.

Title III protects employees from being discharged by their employers because their wages have been garnished for any one debt and limits the amount of employees' earnings that may be garnished in any one week. It does not, however, protect an employee from discharge if the employee's earnings have been subject to garnishment for a second or subsequent debts.

Title III applies to all individuals who receive personal earnings and to their employers. Personal earnings include wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, and income from a pension or retirement program, but does not ordinarily include tips.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

Wage and Hour Division: Wage Garnishment
Information on wage garnishment.

Federal Wage Garnishments