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Definition: Garnishment

Deductions in employee’s salary at the behest of a court or government order for payment of certain debts, taxes or support expenses are known as Garnishments. These orders are generally given to the Employer by the court directing him/her to withhold a portion of the employee’s wages, and the employer is liable to the full amount if it fails to comply with the directives. 

Central and state laws determine maximum amounts that can be deducted from an employee’s salary. In cases where there’s more than one garnishment in play, priority of these garnishments needs to be established to settle claims. However, an employee who has filed for Bankruptcy is not liable to honor any wage garnishments nor can garnishment form a basis for retrenchment of an employee. Garnishments are issued for Support (Child support, Spouse support and Medical support), state or federal taxes, loans (mostly student loans), debts and items of voluntary nature.

According to Indian Legal system, order 21 Rule 46A to 46 defines the rule of garnishment. But this order is discretionary and can be disowned by a court if it is inequitable.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Garnishment along with its overview.


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