Garnishment Definition

Garnishment is a court-ordered process in which a person’s earnings are withheld by an employer in order to pay off the person’s debts.

Garnishment Extended Definition
When a person’s wages are garnished, the employer may withhold earnings from hourly wages, salaries, bonuses and commissions. The employer does not normally withhold earnings from tips.

The withheld money then goes toward paying off the employee’s debt, such as:

  • Overdue taxes
  • Child support
  • Unpaid fines
  • Defaulted loans

The Consumer Credit Protection Act limits the amount of wages that can be garnished from a paycheck each week and prohibits employers from firing employees because their wages have been garnished to pay off one debt. Only a portion of an employee’s wages can be garnished, not an entire paycheck.

Related Article
How Does a Wage Garnishment Work?

Last Updated By

Rachel Blakely-Gray | Apr 27, 2023

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