Wisconsin Deductions from Pay: What you need to know

Employers in Wisconsin may make deductions from an employee's wages for: (WI Gen. Stat. Sec. 241.09)
• Federal, state, and local taxes as required by law
• Items authorized by the employee in writing such as union or employee club dues, for purchasing insurance or bonds, payments to credit unions, charitable contributions, or for repaying a debt to the employer
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An employee may authorize an assignment of earnings. An assignment of earnings is like a garnishment in that it requires an employer to pay the employee's wages to a third party. The key distinction between a garnishment and an assignment is that an assignment is voluntary while garnishment is an involuntary procedure in which a court requires an employer to make deductions from an employee's wages in order to repay debts that the employee has not repaid voluntarily.
Under an assignment of earnings, an employer deducts certain amounts from an employee's wages to repay the employee's debts. In Wisconsin, an assignment of earnings related to a consumer transaction is invalid unless the employee can revoke it at will (WI Gen. Stat. Sec. 422.404). In addition, no assignment of the wages of a married person is valid for any purpose unless the assignment is in writing and signed by the person's spouse and the signature is witnessed by two witnesses (WI Gen. Stat. Sec. 241.09). If valid, the assignment runs for 6 months and is automatically renewed for another 6 months, provided the following occurs:
• The original authorization contained a conspicuous notice of the employee's right to revoke.
• The merchant mails the employee a notice that the assignment will run for 6 more months but that it is revocable.
• The employee does not ...

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