State Laws on Wage Garnishments

Learn your state's protections for employees whose wages have been garnished.

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Federal law protects employees from being fired because their wages are garnished for any one debt, even if more than one proceeding is brought to collect that debt. However, employees are no longer protected if they are subject to garnishment for two or more debts. 

Some states give employees more rights. The chart below describes state laws for administering wage garnishments, including permissible fees employers may charge to administer garnishments, as well as laws prohibiting employer discrimination or retaliation because of wage garnishments. Other state statutes may apply.

Alabama

Ala. Code §§ 15-18-142, 15-18-143, 30-3-70, 30-3-71

Applies to: Child support garnishments and restitution to victims of crime.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: No employer shall discharge an employee or refuse to hire a person because of an order of child support withholding or order for restitution to crime victim.

Employer’s fee: $2 per month (child support only).

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Contempt of court. For garnishments for restitution for crime victims, employer may not discharge employee solely because of garnishment and, in addition to contempt of court, may be required to reinstate the employee.

Alaska

Alaska Stat. § 25.27.062

Applies to: Child support garnishments only.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: An employer may not discharge, discipline, or refuse to employ an obligor on the basis of a child support withholding order.

Employer’s fee: $5 per payment.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: If employer discharges, disciplines, or refuses to hire someone because of having child support withholding orders, may be fined up to $1,000 and be required to reinstate and/or provide restitution to the employee.

Arizona

Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 23-722.02, 25-505.01

Applies to: Child support or spousal maintenance garnishment.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Newly hired, rehired, or returning employees may be asked to disclose any child support wage assignment orders but may not be discriminated against, fired, or disciplined because of having them.

Employer’s fee: $1 per pay period or $4 per month.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Employer who refuses to hire, discharges, or disciplines employee because of having child support withholding orders is subject to contempt of court and fines. Employer who fails without good cause to comply with income withholding order may be liable for amounts not paid, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, and may be subject to contempt of court. Employee wrongfully refused employment, wrongfully discharged, or otherwise disciplined may recover damages and may be reinstated, if appropriate, and be entitled to recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs.

Arkansas

Ark. Code Ann. §§ 9-14-226, 9-14-227, 9-14-515

Applies to: Child support garnishments and child’s health care coverage orders.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer is prohibited from discharging, refusing to employ, or taking other disciplinary action against a noncustodial parent under an income withholding order.

Employer’s fee: $2.50 per pay period.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: If discharge, refuse to employ, or take other disciplinary action against a noncustodial parent under an income withholding order, subject to contempt of court and fine of up to $50 per day.

California

Cal. Fam. Code §§ 5235, 5241; Lab. Code § 2929

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged for being threatened with a wage garnishment.

Employer’s fee: $1.50 per payment.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: In child support cases, if employer willfully fails to withhold, can be held in contempt of court. If employer does not withhold or does not forward payments, liable to obligee for amount of payments plus interest.

Colorado

Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 5-5-107, 13-54.5-110, 14-14-111.5, 14-14-112, 26-13-121.5

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged because a consumer creditor garnishes or attempts to garnish wages (no limit on number of garnishments).

Employer’s fee: Up to $5 per month for child support garnishments.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Liable to discharged employee for up to six weeks’ wages, reinstatement, court costs, and attorneys’ fees (applies to general wage garnishments, child support, and child national medical support and child health insurance withholding orders).

Employer penalties, child support withholding: If the employer fails to withhold income, the employer may be held in contempt of court; for wrongful failure to withhold, liable for both the amount that should have been withheld and any other penalties set by state law.

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 46b-88, 52-361, 52-362

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be disciplined, suspended, or discharged for having wages garnished unless there are more than seven within a calendar year.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Liable to employee for all wages and benefits from time of discipline or discharge to reinstatement.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Fine of up to $1,000 for discharging, refusing to employ, disciplining, or discriminating against an employee because of a withholding order. Also applies to child health care coverage.

Delaware

Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 3509; tit. 13, § 513

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not dismiss employee because employer was summoned to appear in court in a garnishment proceeding.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For failing to comply with law or terminating employee, fine of up to $1,000 or up to 90 days’ imprisonment, or both, for first offense; for each subsequent offense, fine of up to $5,000 or up to one year’s imprisonment, or both. For refusing to employ because of a support withholding order, fine of up to $200 for each offense. Corporations are subject to criminal charges. Also applies to child health care coverage and spousal support.

District of Columbia

D.C. Code Ann. §§ 16-573, 46-212(d), 46-219

Employee protections that exceed federal law: In any month, employer cannot withhold more than 10% of gross wages until at least $200 of the employee’s wages have been withheld that month; cannot collect more than 20% until at least $500 has been withheld. Employee may not be discharged because a creditor garnishes or attempts to garnish wages (no limit on number of garnishments).

Employer’s fee: $2 for each child support payment.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Employer who discharges, refuses to employ, takes disciplinary action against, or otherwise discriminates against employee is subject to a penalty of up to $10,000, which employee may use to offset support obligations. Any adverse action employer takes within 90 days of receiving notice to withhold wages is presumed to be in violation of law.

Florida

Fla. Stat. Ann. §§ 61.12(2), 61.1301

Applies to: Child or spousal support garnishments.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not fire, refuse to hire, or discipline employee who has wages garnished for child or spousal support.

Employer’s fee: $5 for first deduction, $2 for each subsequent deduction.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Employer who refuses to hire, discharges, or disciplines employee because of having spousal support order is subject to fine of up to $250 for first violation and up to $500 for each subsequent violation; employer may also be held in contempt of court. Employee entitled to reinstatement and wages/benefits lost.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Employer who refuses to hire, discharges, or disciplines employee because of having child support order is subject to fine of up to $250 for first violation and up to $500 for each subsequent violation; employer may also be held in contempt of court. Employee entitled to reinstatement and wages/benefits lost.

Georgia

Ga. Code Ann. § 19-11-20

Applies to: Child support garnishments.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employers may not terminate the services of an employed parent who executes a wage assignment for child support purposes.

Employer’s fee: $25 for first child support deduction, $3 for each subsequent deduction.

Hawaii

Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 378-2, 378-32, 571-52, 576E-16, 710-1077

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not fire, suspend, or discriminate against employee for having wages garnished or because employer was summoned as a garnishee in an action or proceeding where the employee is the debtor. Employer who refuses to hire or discharges an employee who has wages garnished for child support is guilty of unlawful discrimination.

Employer’s fee: $2 for each deduction.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Employer who discriminates against employee is guilty of criminal contempt of court.

Idaho

Idaho Code §§ 28-45-105, 32-1210, 32-1211

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged because a consumer creditor garnishes or attempts to garnish wages (no limit on number of garnishments). In child support cases, garnishment plus the employer’s processing fee can not exceed 50% of the employee’s disposable income.

Employer’s fee: $5 for each deduction (child support).

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For discharging, disciplining, or refusing to hire an employee: liable for double lost wages and other damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees; and may be fined up to $300 for each violation and ordered to hire or reinstate employee.

Illinois

735 Ill. Comp. Stat. §§ 5/12-818, 5/12-814; 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 170/10; 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. §§ 28/35, 28/50

Employee protections that exceed federal law: May not discharge or suspend employee for any indebtedness or for one wage garnishment.

Employer’s fee: 2% of entire amount withheld for general wage garnishment; $5 per month for child support.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Discharging or suspending employee because wage garnishment for one indebtedness or one wage garnishment is a class A misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $2,500 and imprisonment for up to one year.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Liable for amount of wages not withheld or paid; if employer discriminated against employee, may be fined up to $200 and ordered to hire or reinstate employee. Any officer or employee of any payor who has the control, supervision, or responsibility for withholding and paying and who wilfully fails to withhold or pay shall be personally liable for a penalty equal to the total amount that was not withheld or paid.

Indiana

Ind. Code Ann. §§ 24-4.5-5-105 to 24-4.5-5-106

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not discharge employee because creditor has garnished or attempted to garnish wages (no limit on number of garnishments).

Employer’s fee: $12 or 3% of entire amount withheld, whichever is greater, for general wage garnishment, 50% paid by employee and 50% by creditor; $2 per deduction for child support.

Iowa

Iowa Code § 252D.17

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not discharge, refuse to employ, or take disciplinary action against an obligor based upon income withholding for child support.

Employer’s fee: $2 for each child support payment.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Employer who fails to withhold or remit payment for the first offense is guilty of a misdemeanor, and a serious misdemeanor for each subsequent offense, and in either case may have to pay costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees for collection. An employer who discharges, refuses to employ, or takes disciplinary action against an employee because of a wage garnishment is guilty of a simple misdemeanor and may be subject to contempt of court proceedings.

Kansas

Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 23-4,108, 60-2311

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Illegal to discharge employee because of wage garnishment of any type.

Employer’s fee: $5 per pay period or $10 per month for income withheld for child or spousal support, whichever is less.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Illegal to discharge employee because of wage garnishment of any type.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For not withholding and remitting payments, or discharging, refusing to employ, or taking disciplinary action against an employee because of garnishment, subject to a fine of up to $500 and other equitable relief. Liable to obligee for three times amount owed and reasonable attorneys’ fees if fails to pay without just cause.

Kentucky

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 405.465, 405.467, 405.991

Applies to: Chld or medical support orders only.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: No child or medical support withholding shall be grounds for discharging from employment, refusing to employ, or taking disciplinary action against any obligor.

Employer’s fee: $1 per payment for child or medical support withholding.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: If discharge, refuse to employ, or take disciplinary action against employee, subject to fine of up to $500 or up to one year in the county jail, or both.

Louisiana

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 13:3921, 23:731

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee cannot be discharged or denied employment because of a single wage garnishment. Employee may be fired for a wage garnishment if there are three or more garnishments for unrelated debts in a two-year period. However, employee may not be fired if garnishment resulted from an accident or illness that caused employee to miss ten or more consecutive workdays.

Employer’s fee: $3 per pay period for as long as garnishment is in effect

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Discharged employee is entitled to reinstatement and back pay, but not damages. A person denied employment solely because of garnishment is entitled to reasonable damages.

Maine

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 9-A, § 5-106; tit. 14, § 3127-B; tit. 19-A, §§ 2306, 2662, 2663

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee cannot be fired because creditor garnishes or attempts to garnish wages (number of garnishments not specified).

Employer’s fee: $1 per check issued to creditor for general wage garnishment; child support fee allowed, set by administrative rule.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For knowingly failing to withhold or remit payments, fine of up to $100 for each failure to withhold. For discharging, refusing to employ, or disciplining employee, fine of up to $5,000; liable for actual and punitive damages plus attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Maryland

Md. Code Ann. [Com. Law] § 15-606; [Fam. Law] § 10-129

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer cannot discharge employee for having one garnishment in a single year.

Employer’s fee: $2 for each child support deduction.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Employer who discharges employee who is subject to only one wage garnishment in a calendar year is subject to fine up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to one year, or both. Employer penalties, child support withholding: Employer who fails to withhold or remit payments is liable for amount of wages not withheld or paid. Employer may not use garnishment as reason for reprisal, dismissal, refusal to hire, or refusal to promote employee.

Massachusetts

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119A, § 12

Applies to: Child support garnishments only.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not discipline, suspend, discharge, or refuse to hire an employee because of having child support withholding orders.

Employer’s fee: $1 per pay period.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For violating employee rights, liable for lost wages and benefits plus a fine of up to $1,000; for failing to comply with a withholding order, liable for amount not withheld, plus fine of that amount or up to $500, whichever is greater.

Michigan

Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 552.623, 600.4012, 600.4015

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not refuse to hire, discharge, take disciplinary action against, or impose a penalty against an employee because of a wage garnishment, including using the fact that the employee had an occupational, recreational, or driver’s license suspended under child support laws, unless license is legally required for employee’s job.

Employer’s fee: $6 per writ of garnishment.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Must reinstate employee and pay back all lost wages and benefits.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500; must reinstate employee with back pay.

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 518A.53, 571.927

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer shall not discharge or otherwise discipline an employee as a result of an earnings garnishment (no number specified).

Employer’s fee: $1 for each child support payment.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Employee entitled to reinstatement and employer liable to employee for double wages lost.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: To obligee: for intentional failure to withhold or remit funds, liable for amount not paid, plus interest from the time payments were due, and attorneys’ fees, and may be subject to sanctions for contempt. To employee: for discharging, refusing to hire, or disciplining employee because of child support withholding orders, liable for double lost wages and subject to a fine of no less than $500.

Mississippi

Miss. Code Ann. § 93-11-111

Applies to: Child support garnishments.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not discharge, discipline, refuse to hire or otherwise penalize the employee because of the duty to withhold income.

Employer’s fee: $2 per payment inside Mississippi. If interstate withholding, determined by rules/laws of state where obligor works.

Missouri

Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 452.350, 454.505, 525.230

Employee protections that exceed federal law: An employer shall not discharge or otherwise discipline, or refuse to hire, an employee as a result of a child support withholding notice.

Employer’s fee: 2% or $8, whichever is greater, for general wage garnishment; up to $6 per month per payment for child support withholding.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For failing to withhold or remit payments, employer is liable to obligee for support not withheld and may be held in contempt of court. If discharges, disciplines, or refuses to hire employee as a result of withholding notice, may be fined up to $500, payable to county general fund. For discharging, refusing to hire, or disciplining an employee because of garnishment, liable for fine of up to $150, order to reinstate employee, and payment of back wages, costs, and attorneys’ fees, plus support which should have been withheld during time employee was wrongfully discharged. (Discharge within 30 days of receipt of support order is presumed wrongful.)

Montana

Mont. Code Ann. §§ 39-2-302, 40-5-416, 40-5-422

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged or laid off because of wage garnishment (number not specified).

Employer’s fee: $5 per month for child support payments.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: If employer discharges, disciplines, or refuses to hire employee because of garnishment, subject to a fine of $150 to $500; must reinstate employee with full restitution, including back pay.

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 42-364.01, 42-364.12, 43-1725

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not fire, demote, discipline, or penalize employee because of any proceeding to collect child support.

Employer’s fee: $2.50 per month for child support payments.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For failing to remit payments, liable for entire amount owed plus interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees; for violating employee rights, liable for damages plus interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees. May also be liable for a civil fine of up to $500 per violation, and may be required to make full restitution to employee, including reinstatement and back pay.

Nevada

Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 31.296, 31.297, 31.298, 31A.090, 31A.120

Employee protections that exceed federal law: It is unlawful to discharge or discipline an employee because employer required to withhold earnings because of a garnishment (no number specified).

Employer’s fee: $3 per pay period up to $12 per month for general wage garnishments; $3 per child support payment withheld.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: For willfully refusing to withhold payments, deliver payments to the enforcing authority, or misrepresenting employee’s income, employer must pay entire amount not withheld; may be liable for punitive damages of up to $1,000 per pay period.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For refusing to hire, discharging, or taking disciplinary action against an employee, employer must reinstate employee and is liable for any payments not withheld plus a $1,000 fine; if employee wins in court, employer liable for not less than $2,500, plus costs and attorneys’ fees. For willfully refusing to withhold payments or misrepresenting employee’s income, must pay entire amount not withheld; may be liable to obligee for punitive damages of up to $1,000 per pay period.

New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 161-H:5, 458-B:6

Applies to: Child support and child’s medical support garnishments.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not discharge, refuse to employ, or take any disciplinary action against an employee because of child support or child medical support garnishments.

Employer’s fee: $1 per support payment.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For discharging, refusing to employ, or taking any disciplinary action against an employee, guilty of a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1,000; for failing to withhold payments, a fine up to $100 per pay period.

New Jersey

N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2A:17-56.11, 2A:17-56.12, 2C:40A-3

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may take no disciplinary action against employee because of wage garnishment (no number specified).

Employer’s fee: $1 per garnishment (child support).

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: For discharging or disciplining an employee because of a wage garnishment, guilty of a disorderly person offense; must rehire and compensate employee for damages.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For discharging, failing to employ, or disciplining an employee because of a wage garnishment, employer liable for a fine and civil damages and must reinstate employee; if employee wins in court, liable for attorneys’ fees, twofold compensatory damages, including court costs, and lost income. For failing to withhold child support payments, liable for a fine up to amount not withheld as well as interest and attorneys’ fees. For failing to withhold payments under a medical support order, liable for children’s medical expenses and any other amount that should have been withheld.

New Mexico

N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 40-4A-8, 40-4A-11

Applies to: Child or spousal support garnishments.

Employer’s fee: $1 per payment.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not discharge, discipline, refuse to hire, or otherwise penalize the employee because of the duty to withhold income under a child or spousal support order.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Employer who willfully fails to pay liable to a fine for total amount not withheld. For discharging, disciplining, refusing to hire, or otherwise penalizing an employee because of a wage garnishment, liable for reinstatement and damages; subject to action for contempt of court.

New York

N.Y. C.P.L.R. Law §§ 5241, 5252

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Current employee may not be fired, laid off, refused promotion, or disciplined, and prospective employee may not be refused employment because of one or more current, past, or pending garnishments.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Liable to employee for reinstatement or hiring and up to six weeks’ lost wages, plus fine of up to $500 for first offense and up to $1,000 for each additional offense. May also be liable for civil contempt of court.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For failure to deduct or remit child or spousal support deductions: liable to creditor for fine of up to $500 for first offense and up to $1,000 for each additional offense.

North Carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 110-136, 110-136.8, 110-136.13, 131E-49, 131E-50

Applies to: Child and medical support garnishments, wage garnishments for public hospital debts.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged or disciplined for having wages garnished to pay a public hospital debt. Employer shall not discharge from employment, refuse to employ, or otherwise take disciplinary action against employee because of child support withholding (including medical support orders).

Employer’s fee: $1 per child support payment; $1 per payment to public hospital.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: An employer who discharges or disciplines employees for having wages garnished to pay public hospital debt may be liable for damages, including back pay, reinstatement, costs, and attorneys’ fees.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: If employer fails to employ, discharges, or takes disciplinary action against employee because of garnishment, liable to employee for reinstatement and reasonable damages. May also be liable for a fine of $100 for first offense; $500 for second; and $1,000 for third (also applies to child medical support orders). For violating the terms of an order, may be liable for contempt.

North Dakota

N.D. Cent. Code §§ 14-09-08.11, 14-09-09.3, 14-09-09.6, 32-09.1-18

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged because of wage garnishment (no number specified). Employer’s fee: $3 per month for child support (voluntary garnishment).

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: For discharging employee because of a garnishment, liable for twice lost wages and reinstatement.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For failing or refusing to withhold or deliver income, may be punished for contempt of court. May be liable for amount of income that should have been withheld or delivered as well as costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees. May owe late fees as well. Employer who refuses to employ, dismisses, demotes, disciplines, or in any way penalizes the employee because of a proceeding to collect child support is liable for damages, costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees, and may be required to make restitution, including reinstatement and back pay.

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 2716.041, 2716.05, 3121.18, 3123.20, 3123.99

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged because of wage garnishments by a single creditor in a 12-month period or because of child support order garnishment.

Employer’s fee: $3 per pay period that earnings withheld for general wage garnishment; $2 per support order or 1% of amount withheld, whichever is greater, for child support.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For discharging employee because of child support order, subject to fine of $50 to $200 and ten to 30 days in jail.

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, §§ 1171.3, 1190; tit. 14A, § 5-106; tit. 56, § 240.2

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged because of a garnishment to collect on a consumer credit transaction, unless the employee has more than two such garnishments in one year.

Employer’s fee: $5 per payment (up to $10/month) for child support; $10 for each general wage garnishment.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For discharging, disciplining, suspending or refusing to promote employee, liable for wages and benefits lost from time of discharge, discipline, suspension or refusal to promote to time of reinstatement or promotion. For failing to withhold or remit payments, liable for amount not withheld, plus fine of up to $200 for each payment not made.

Oregon

Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 18.385, 25.414, 25.424, 659A.885

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not discharge employee because of a wage garnishment (no number specified).

Employer’s fee: $5 per month for child support withholding.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For failure to withhold, liable for all amounts and damages not paid as well as a fine of $250 for each willful or grossly negligent failure to pay. For discharging, refusing to hire, or discriminating, disciplining, or retaliating against employee, may be liable for reinstatement, back pay, compensatory damages or $200 (whichever is greater), punitive damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees.

Pennsylvania

23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 4348

Applies to: Child support garnishments only.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not refuse to employ, discharge, discipline, or demote employee because of a child support garnishment.

Employer’s fee: 2% of amount withheld per support payment.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For violating employee rights, liable for damages and subject to a fine of up to $1,000. For failing to withhold payment, may be jailed and fined for contempt of court.

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 10-5-8, 15-5-24, 15-5-26, 15-29-5

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not dismiss, demote, discipline, or penalize employee due to child support garnishments; may not discharge, refuse to employ, or discipline employee due to child health garnishments.

Employer’s fee: $5 per general garnishment order; $2 per child support payment.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For failure to withhold income, personally liable for amount failed to withhold, together with costs, interest, attorney’s fees. For dismissing, demoting, disciplining, or penalizing employee, liable for damages, interest, court costs, and attorneys’ fees, and may be required to reinstate employee with back pay; subject to a fine of up to $100. For discharging, refusing to employ, or disciplining an employee because of a wage garnishment for child medical support, or failing to withhold for the same, liable for a $100 fine.

South Carolina

S.C. Code Ann. §§ 63-17-1420, 37-5-106, 63-17-1550, 63-17-1460

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged because of wage garnishment (no number specified).

Employer’s fee: $3 per child support payment.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For discharging, refusing to hire, or penalizing employee because of child or spousal support withholding, liable for a fine of up to $500.

South Dakota

S.D. Codified Laws Ann. §§ 21-18-9, 25-7A-46, 25- 7A-59

Applies to: Child support and children’s health garnishments only.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not discharge, refuse to employ, discipline, or penalize an employee because of a child support wage garnishment.

Employer’s fee: $15 for preparing a garnishment disclosure.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Child support orders: for violating employee rights or failing to withhold or pay garnishment, guilty of petty offense. Child health support garnishments: for failure to withhold or pay garnishment, guilty of petty offense.

Tennessee

Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 36-5-501, 40-35-111

Applies to: Child and spousal support garnishments only.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee whose wages are ordered withheld for either child or spousal support may not be fired or disciplined.

Employer’s fee: Up to 5% of amount withheld (no more than $5/month) for child support and spousal orders.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For child and spousal support orders: refusing to employ, discharging, or taking disciplinary action against an employee, or refusing to withhold is a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $50 or up to 30 days’ imprisonment, or both.

Texas

Tex. Civ. Proc. & Rem. Code Ann. §63.006; Fam. Code §§8.204, 8.206 to 8.209, 158.204, 158.209, 158.210

Applies to: Child and spousal support garnishments only.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be fired, disciplined, or refused employment because of wage withholding orders for child or spousal support.

Employer’s fee: Actual cost or up to $10 per month, whichever is less, for general wage garnishments under state or federal law; $10 per month for child support payments; $5 per month for spousal support payments.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For violating employee rights, employer must reinstate employee with full benefits and seniority and is liable for wages plus court costs and attorneys’ fees. For knowingly failing to withhold or remit child or spousal support payments, liable for the amount withheld but not paid as well as attorneys’ fees and costs, $200 for each instance.

Utah

Utah Code Ann. §§ 62A-11-316, 62A-11-406, 62A-11-410, 78A-2-216; Utah R. Civ. Proc. Rule 64D

Applies to: Child support garnishments.

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not discharge or prejudice an employee because of any child support garnishments.

Employer’s fee: $10 for a single garnishment and $25 for a continuing garnishment.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For discharging, refusing to hire, or disciplining because of a child support garnishment, liable to employee for damages; liable to state child support enforcement agency for amount of garnishment or $1,000, whichever is greater, plus interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees.

Vermont

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, §§ 3171, 3172; tit. 15, §§ 787, 790

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged because of garnishment (Vermont uses term “trustee process”). If employee is discharged within 60 days of a garnishment order, presumed to be in violation of law. Employee may not be discharged or subject to disciplinary action due to child support garnishment.

Employer’s fee: $5 per month for child support withholding.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Liable to discharged employee for reinstatement, back wages, and damages; if employee wins in court, also liable for costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. For failure to withhold, liable for amount of garnishment plus interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Liable to discharged or disciplined employee for reinstatement, back wages, and damages; if employee wins in court, also liable for costs, attorneys’ fees, and $100 fine. Employers failing to forward payments may be subject to penalties of up to $100 for first violation and up to $1,000 for second or subsequent violations.

Virginia

Va. Code Ann. §§ 8.01-512.2, 20-79.3, 63.2-1944

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee who voluntarily assigns earnings to settle a child support debt or who is subject to child support garnishment may not be discharged because of assignment.

Employer’s fee: $10 for each general wage garnishment summons; $5 per child support withholding payment.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For discharging, taking disciplinary action against, or refusing to employ an employee, fine of up to $1,000 for violating employee rights.

Washington

Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 6.27.170, 26.18.110, 26.23.090, 74.20A.080, 74.20A.230, 74.20A.240

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged unless there are garnishments for three or more separate debts within a 12-month period. Employee may not be fired, disciplined, or refused employment because of wage withholding orders for child or spousal support.

Employer’s fee: $10 for first payment, $1 for each successive payment for child or spousal support withholding; $15 for first payment, $1 for each successive payment for processing earnings assignment issued by Department of Social and Health Services.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Child or spousal support orders: for discharging, disciplining, or refusing to hire, liable to employee for double lost wages, other damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees; may also be required to reinstate or hire employee. Liable for a civil fine up to $2,500 per violation. For failing to withhold, liable for full payment plus costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees (includes child health care support).

West Virginia

W.Va. Code §§ 46A-2-131, 46B-6-5, 48-14-406, 48-14-407, 48-14-418

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not take any form of reprisal against employee because of wage garnishment to pay judgment for consumer credit, consumer lease/loan, or rent-to-own transaction.

Employer’s fee: $1 per child support withholding order.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Employer who discharges, refuses to employ, or takes disciplinary action against an employee because of a child support garnishment is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $500 to $1,000.

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. Ann. §§ 425.110, 767.75; 812.43

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employer may not charge a fee or take any adverse action because of a general wage garnishment (no number specified); may not discharge an employee because of consumer credit garnishment.

Employer’s fee: Up to $3 per child or spousal support payment.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: For general wage garnishments: employee subject to fee or adverse action may sue for reinstatement, back wages and benefits, restoration of seniority, and attorneys’ fees. For consumer credit garnishments: employee shall recover back wages and be reinstated, if files an action for relief within 90 days of discharge.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: Child and spousal support, and child health support: for discharging, disciplining or denying employment, fine of up to $500, and full restitution (including reinstatement and back pay).

Wyoming

Wyo. Stat. §§ 1-15-509, 20-6-212, 20-6-218, 40-14-506

Employee protections that exceed federal law: Employee may not be discharged for having wages subject to continuing garnishment for any judgment or for a judgment from a consumer credit transaction (no number specified).

Employer’s fee: $5 per child support payment.

Employer penalties, general wage garnishment: Employee may sue for reinstatement, 30 days’ lost wages, costs, and attorneys’ fees.

Employer penalties, child support withholding: For discharging, disciplining, or otherwise penalizing employee, subject to fine of up to $200. For failing to withhold, liable for amount that should have been withheld and fine of up to $200.

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