What is the maximum amount an employer can withhold from an employees weekly check?

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What is the maximum amount an employer can withhold from an employees weekly check?

An employee has tow seperate child support orders and we have just received an additional garnishment. The garnishment was set up to be taken out of the employee’s check but it was not withheld. When I asked our payroll advisors, they stated that there was a certain percentage that could be taken from each check. Could you let me know the total percentage we are legally able to withhold?

Asked on May 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As is commonly the rule, while normally, only 25% of an employee's "disposable earnings' (for this purpose, earnings after mandatory tax withholding; e.g. FICA) may be garnished, GA permits up to 50% of the employee's wages to be garnished. So for child support orders, up to half the employee's disposable earnings can be garnished.

However, for low-paid employees, you also need to compare the weekly salary to 30 times federal minimum wage ($7.25), or $217.50; wages may only be garnished to the extent they exceed that amount. The official rule, for child support garnishment, is then to garnish the lesser or lower of:

1) The amount of the employee's weekly wages or income in excess of $217.50 per week; or

2) 50% of the employee's disposable income.


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