U.S. Department of Labor
Wage Garnishment: A legal procedure in which an employer is required by court order to withhold a portion of a worker’s earnings for the payment of a debt, such as unpaid child support, repayment of student loans, unpaid taxes or a court judgment. A garnishment can be placed against wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, tax refunds, pension payments and more. See Wage Garnishment.
Employers are prohibited under the Consumer Credit Protection Act from terminating an employee whose earnings are subject to garnishment for one debt. The Act limits the amount of earnings that can be garnished in any one week. An employee can be terminated if two or more debts are subject to garnishments.