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West Virginia Garnishment: What you need to know

A garnishment is an order of a court to an employer (the garnishee) to withhold a sum of money from an employee's earnings for payment of a debt. The state of West Virginia draws a distinction between garnishments for support obligations and those for other kinds of debts.
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There are numerous state and federal laws pertaining to garnishment. Where state laws are more restrictive than federal law (i.e., by protecting a greater amount of salary from garnishment), then state laws will govern. The West Virginia laws on support garnishments are found at WV Code Sec. 48-14-401et seq. The laws on garnishments for other debts are found at WV Code Sec. 38-5A-1et seq.
Garnishment vs. wage assignment. Garnishment and assignment of wages are both methods of deducting money from an employee's earnings to repay his or her debts. Garnishment is an involuntary procedure that is usually conducted when the employee has not paid his or her debts voluntarily. Assignment of wages is a voluntary proceeding in which the employee agrees to the deduction and the employee must acknowledge it before a notary public. There is additional information on assignment of wages. .
Support. An employer will initially receive a notice specifying the amount to be withheld from each paycheck. Support orders issued from other states are binding on West Virginia employers. Withholding begins no later than the first pay period or first date for the payment of income 14 days after the date the notice was mailed to the employer and continues until further notice from the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement or until the employee leaves the job (WV Code Sec. 48-14-409; Sec. 48-14-411). Deductions must be sent to the Bureau for Child ...

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  • FLSA Coverage: How FLSA regulations apply to all employers and any specific exemptions from the overtime requirements
  • Salary Level: Qualifying for exemptions and nonexempt employees
  • Deductions from Pay: Deducting for violations, disciplinary reasons, sick leave, or personal leave

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