COMPTROLLER'S SEAL STATE OF CONNECTICUT

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

NANCY WYMAN
COMPTROLLER

OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106-1775

MARK OJAKIAN
DEPUTY COMPTROLLER
 

MEMORANDUM NO. 97-45

August 12, 1997

TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES

Attention:Chief Administrative and Fiscal Officers, Business
Managers, and Payroll and Personnel Officers
Subject: Increase of Federal Minimum Wage and its Impact on
CGS 52-361a
  1. AUTHORITY

    1. Public Law 104-188, signed into law on August 20, 1996, increases the minimum wage from $4.75 to $5.15 an hour effective September 1, 1997.

    2. Section 52-361a, Subsection (f) of the Connecticut General Statutes provides that:

      "(f) Amount subject to levy. The maximum part of the aggregate weekly earnings of an individual which may be subject under this section to levy or other withholding for payment of a judgement is the lesser of (1) twenty-five per cent of his disposable earnings for that week, or (2) the amount by which his disposable earnings for that week exceed forty times the higher of (A) the minimum hourly wage prescribed by Section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, USC Title 29, Section 206(a)(1), or (B) the full minimum fair wage established by subsection (j) of section 31-58, in effect at the time the earnings are payable."

    3. "Disposable earnings" is the balance remaining after the following deductions have been made from gross wages: FICA, federal income tax, state income tax, normal retirement contributions, union dues or fees, group life insurance, health insurance, maintenance, and (if applicable) voluntary or court-ordered family or welfare support, federal tax levies, and/or state income tax deductions authorized pursuant to CGS Section 12-34b.

      All other deductions (savings bonds, deferred compensation, etc.) are optional and are not permissible in the calculation of disposable earnings.

      1. The federal minimum wage will be $5.15 per hour effective September 1, 1997.

      2. CGS 31-58(j) increases the minimum fair wage in Connecticut to $5.18 per hour effective September 1, 1997.

  2. COMPUTATION TO DETERMINE AGGREGATE DISPOSABLE EARNINGS SUBJECT TO GARNISHMENT:

    Subsection (f) of CGS Section 52-361a provides that the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings subject to garnishment may not exceed the lesser of:

    1. 25% of the employee's disposable earnings for the week.

    2. The amount by which his/her disposable earnings exceed forty (40) times the Connecticut state minimum wage; i.e., 40 times $5.18 per hour equals $207.20 per week ($414.40 bi-weekly).

    3. The amount by which his/her disposable earnings exceed forty (40) times the federal minimum wage; i.e., 40 times $5.15 per hour equals $206.00 per week ($412.00 bi-weekly).

    EXAMPLE:
    BI-WEEKLY AMOUNTS
    Method AMethod BMethod C
    GROSS WAGES$ 789.00$ 789.00$ 789.00
    Less:Allowable Deductions 237.00 237.00 237.00
    DISPOSABLE EARNINGS$ 552.00$ 552.00$ 552.00
    EXCLUSIONS:
    Method A:
    75% of Disposable Earnings414.00
    Method B:
    80 times State Hourly
    Minimum ----------414.00
    Method C:
    80 times Federal Hourly
    Minimum --------------------412.00
    AGGREGATE DISPOSABLE
    EARNINGS SUBJECT TO
    GARNISHMENT $138.00$137.60$140.00

    NOTE:

    Since it is the lesser aggregate disposable earnings which are subject to garnishment, the following rules-of-thumb will apply for current rates:

    DISPOSABLE EARNINGS
    $ 552.54 or more Use Method A
    $ 552.53 or less Use Method B

    Method C, based on Federal minimum wage, is reflected for comparison purposes only and will not be applicable as long as the Federal minimum wage is less than the State minimum wage.

  3. GENERAL

    Please direct questions to the Office of the State Comptroller as follows:

    Statutory Impact/Computations:

    Policy Evaluation and Review Division, (860) 702-3440;

    Payroll Procedures:

    Payroll Services Division, (860) 702-3452 or (860) 702-3454.

NANCY WYMAN
STATE COMPTROLLER

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