What are the Limits on Garnishments in Washington, DC

After a 30 day review period beginning February 7, 2019, a new limit for garnished wages takes effect. 

Currently employees are garnished on the total amount of disposable wages.  However the new Wage Garnishment Fairness Act of 2017 indicates that an employee’s wages up to 40 times D.C.’s minimum wage of $13.25, or $530 per week, are protected and may not be garnished.    Any amount over 40 times $13.25 will be garnished at a percentage determined by the courts, up to a maximum of 25%.

An example might be an employee who is paid $20.00 per hour and works a 40 hour week, earning $800.  The Federal tax withheld is $60 and state withholding is $80.  Gross $800 – taxes $140 = $660 for the net amount used to determine the garnishment amount.  $660 - $530 exempt from garnishment = $270 that may be garnished, and the percentage of the garnishment will be provided by the state in the order.

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