Under North Carolina law, an employer may be ordered to withhold wages from an employee and pay them to a creditor for the following types of debts: taxes, student loans, child support, alimony, and payment of ambulance services in certain North Carolina counties. However, the courts of North Carolina are not permitted to order an employer to withhold wages for other types of debts such as car loans, credit card debt, and other personal debt items. While the North Carolina courts are not permitted to garnish wages based on these debts, creditors in other states may be able to get an order of garnishment under their own states’ laws. It is not a violation of the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act for an employer to withhold an employee’s wages if required to do so by law. If a court from another state issues a valid order under that state’s laws requiring an employer to withhold a North Carolina employee’s wages for payment of a debt, the employer does not violate the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act by obeying that order. For further questions regarding this particular legal issue, you will need to contact a private attorney. If you do not have an attorney or know of one to contact, you may contact the North Carolina Lawyer Referral Service at 919-677-8574. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for free legal advice through a Legal Aid of North Carolina office in your area. If you do not have access to the internet, then you need to contact the Legal Aid of North Carolina office in Raleigh at 919-856-2564 for information on local Legal Aid offices throughout North Carolina.
In addition, employers may be permitted by certain North Carolina laws to deduct administrative costs associated with court ordered withholdings from an employee’s wages. However, if an employee believes that his or her employer is deducting costs in excess of what is allowed by law, the employee may file a complaint with our Wage and Hour Bureau.
For more information about workplace rights, please contact our toll free number at 1-800-NC-LABOR (800-625-2267).