The U.S. Wage Garnishment Landscape: Through the Lens of the Employer

ADP Research Institute®

The U.S. Wage Garnishment Landscape: Through the Lens of the Employer

What are the main reasons for employee wage garnishment in the United States? Do employees carrying garnishments have certain characteristics that differentiate them from the overall workforce? Are there different ways for employers to view wage garnishment to gain a better understanding of garnishment issues?

To answer these questions, ADP Research Institute® (ADP RI) has revisited the wage garnishment topic utilizing 2016 aggregated, anonymous pay data of about 12 million U.S. workers.  The original report Garnishment: The Untold Story published in 2014, presented a first-of-its-kind look into U.S. wage garnishment.

The new ADP RI study presents an expanded view of U.S. wage garnishment activities through the lens of the employer, such as the average number of garnishments carried by employees. The study is also augmented with a new analysis of data to provide employers with greater insights into how garnishment may affect their workforce and organizations.

About this report:

In this study, ADP RI analyzed aggregated, anonymized payroll data from 2016. The dataset included about 12 million employees, 16 years of age and older. Garnishments carried as of the last quarter of 2016 were used in the analysis.

Categories of garnishment included state and federal bankruptcy, court-ordered and private child support, state and federal tax levy, and a category comprised of all remaining types of judgments, such as student loans and consumer loans. The rate of garnishment was calculated as a percentage of employees having their wages garnished compared to the entire workforce.

In addition to an analysis of garnishments by demographics (age and gender), geographic profiles (region and state), and industry and wages, the study also focused on garnishments carried by employees and garnishments from a company perspective.

Keywords: Compliance, Compliance, HR Management, HR Management, Payroll

Business Types: Research for Midsized Organizations, Research for Large Organizations

Roles: Research for Finance Professionals, Research for Human Resources Professionals

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