Hi, thanks for submitting your question today.
The Consumer Protection Credit Act, which is a federal law, protects employees by limiting the amount of earnings that may be garnished in any workweek or pay period to the lesser of 25 percent of disposable earnings or the amount by which disposable earnings are greater than 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage. This limit applies regardless of how many garnishment orders an employer receives. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.
The Act permits a greater amount of an employee’s wages to be garnished for child support, bankruptcy, or federal or state tax payments. The Act allows up to 50 percent of an employee's disposable earnings to be garnished for child support if the employee is supporting a current spouse or child, who is not the subject of the support order, and up to 60 percent if the employee is not doing so. An additional five percent may be garnished for support payments over 12 weeks in arrears.
An employee’s "disposable earnings" is the amount of earnings left after legally required deductions (e.g., federal, state and local taxes; Social Security; unemployment insurance; and state employee retirement systems) have been made. Deductions not required by law (e.g., union dues, health and life insurance, and charitable contributions) are not subtracted from gross earnings when the amount of disposable earnings for garnishment purposes is calculated.
Thus in this situation it appears you'd be legally required to take up to 50% per paycheck (or more if he was over 12 weeks in arrears); the gross being the amount after taxes - not health and other deductions. The way you'd do the calculation then is as follows $400 gross, less tax withholdings, then take up to 50% of that amount for the garnishment, then subtract the health and other benefits
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