View all text of Part 32 [§ 32.1 - § 32.12]

§ 32.8 - Amounts withheld.

(a) After receipt of a withholding order issued under this part, the employer shall deduct from all disposable pay paid to the debtor during each pay period the amount of garnishment described in paragraph (b) of this section. The employer may use the SF-329C “Wage Garnishment Worksheet” to calculate the amount to be deducted from the debtor's disposable pay.

(b) Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, the amount of garnishment shall be the lesser of:

(1) The amount indicated on the garnishment order up to 15% of the debtor's disposable pay; or

(2) The amount set forth in 15 U.S.C. 1673(a)(2) (Maximum allowable garnishment). The amount set forth at 15 U.S.C. 1673(a)(2) is the amount by which a debtor's disposable pay exceeds an amount equivalent to thirty times the minimum wage. See 29 CFR 870.10.

(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, when a debtor's pay is subject to multiple withholding orders, unless otherwise provided by Federal law, withholding orders issued pursuant to this part shall have priority over other withholding orders that are served later in time.

(2) Notwithstanding the foregoing, withholding orders for family support shall have priority over withholding orders issued under this part.

(3) If amounts are being withheld from a debtor's pay pursuant to a withholding order served on an employer before a withholding order issued pursuant to this part, or if a withholding order for family support is served on an employer at any time, the amounts withheld pursuant to a withholding order issued under this part shall be the lesser of:

(i) The amount calculated under paragraph (b) of this section, or

(ii) An amount equal to 25% of the debtor's disposable pay less the amount(s) withheld under the withholding order(s) with priority.

(d) If the debtor owes more than one debt to the Department, the Secretary may issue multiple withholding orders provided that the total amount garnished from the debtor's pay for such orders does not exceed the amount set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.

(e) An amount greater than that set forth in paragraphs (b) or (c) of this section may be withheld upon the written consent of the debtor.

(f) The employer shall promptly pay to the Department all amounts withheld in accordance with the withholding order issued pursuant to this part.

(g) The employer is not required to vary its normal pay and disbursement cycles in order to comply with the withholding order.

(h) Any assignment or allotment by an employee shall be void to the extent it interferes with or prohibits execution of the withholding order issued under this part, except for any assignment or allotment made pursuant to a family support judgment or order.

(i) The employer shall withhold the appropriate amount from the debtor's wages for each pay period until the employer receives notification from the Secretary to discontinue wage withholding.

(j) The withholding order, SF-329B “Wage Garnishment Order,” sent to the employer under § 32.6, requires the employer to commence wage withholding on the first pay day after the employer receives the order. However, if the first pay day is within 10 days after receipt of the order, the employer may begin deductions on the second pay day.

(k) An employer may not discharge, refuse to employ, or take disciplinary action against any debtor as a result of the issuance of a withholding order under this part.

[68 FR 15093, Mar. 28, 2003; 68 FR 24052, May 6, 2003]