Consumer Credit Protection

To provide restrictions on the amount of an employee's wages or salary which may be garnisheed, and prohibit employers from discharging employees by reason of garnishment for any one indebtedness.


Agency - Department of Labor

The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of job seekers, wage earners and retirees by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities, protecting their retirement and health benefits and generally protecting worker rights and monitoring national economic measures.

Office - Persons having knowledge of wage and employment practices which are not in compliance with the minimum standards of these acts, and persons requesting information or publications should contact the nearest Office of the Wage and Hour Division, listed in the telephone directory under United States Government, Labor Department.

If no listing is shown for your locality, contact the nearest district office of the Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division, listed in the Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Website Address

http://www.dol.gov



Program Accomplishments

Joint agreements to refer inquiries, complaints and leads have been entered into by the Employment Standards Administration and the Federal Trade Commission.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The general rules for applying the Federal restrictions on garnishment, effective September 1, 1997, are: If an individual's weekly disposable earnings are $154.50 or less, no amount may be garnisheed; if the weekly disposable earnings are more than $154.50 but less than $206.00, only the amount in excess of $154.50 may be garnisheed; and if the weekly disposable earnings are in excess of $206.00 or more, 25 percent of disposable earnings may be garnisheed.

The Act, as amended, limits court orders for the support of any person to 50 percent of the disposable earnings of an individual supporting another spouse or child and to 60 percent of disposable earnings if not.

An additional 5 percent may be garnished for support payments more than 12 weeks in arrears.

The order must be issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or in accordance with an administrative procedure, which is established by law, which affords substantial due process, and which is subject to judicial review.

The restrictions do not apply under Federal bankruptcy proceedings for wage-earners, nor do they apply to debts due for State or Federal taxes.

In addition, garnishments issued under the laws of any State may be exempted from the operation of the Federal law where the Secretary of Labor determines that such laws provide substantially similar restrictions.

Under no circumstances may an employee be discharged from employment by reason of garnishment for any one indebtedness, although State laws may provide additional protection.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any person whose earnings have been subjected to garnishment is entitled to the protection provided by the Act in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands; Outer Continental Shelf lands defined in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (Chapter 345, 67 Stat.

462); American Samoa, Guam, Wake Island; and Johnston Island.

Under the law, earnings are defined as compensation paid or payable for personal services, including wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, and including periodic payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Any person whose earnings have been subjected to garnishment.

Credentials/Documentation

None.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

None.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

Persons having knowledge of wage and employment practices which are not in compliance with the minimum standards of these acts, and persons seeking advice or assistance concerning the application of the Federal wage garnishment law to specific situations, including persons seeking remedy to an illegal action under the law, should contact the nearest office of the Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division listed in the telephone directory under United States Government, Labor Department. If no listing is shown for you locality, contact the nearest district office of the Wage and Hour Division listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog under the Employment Standards Administration. Unless otherwise authorized, the names of persons making inquiries are kept confidential to the maximum extent possible under existing law.

Award Procedures

Not applicable.

Deadlines

None.

Authorization

Consumer Credit Protection Act, Public Law 90-321, 5 U.S.C. 1671-1677, as amended; Public Law 95-30.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.

Appeals

Not applicable.

Renewals

Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Not applicable.

Audits

Not applicable.

Records

Not applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification

16-0105-0-1-505.

Obigations

(Salaries and Expenses) Not Separately Identifiable. (Note: Obligations for 17.306 are included in program 17.303.)

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Publications furnished free in limited quantities: Pamphlet: The Federal Wage Garnishment Law, Basic Information. Regulations, 29 CFR Part 870, Restriction on Garnishment.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Persons having knowledge of wage and employment practices which are not in compliance with the minimum standards of these acts, and persons requesting information or publications should contact the nearest Office of the Wage and Hour Division, listed in the telephone directory under United States Government, Labor Department. If no listing is shown for your locality, contact the nearest district office of the Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division, listed in the Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-0051.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.



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