• Jonathan Baner

New year means new exemptions (2022)


With the start of 2022 means the annual adjustment of minimum wage across the State and some local ordinances taking effect.


This is always relevant for garnishment exemptions. Some of the most important wage explanations are found at:

  • Washington State Department of Labor and Industries 2022 flyer (link)

  • Seattle minimum wage ordinance and adjustment (link)

  • U.S. Department of Labor (link)


State minimum wage: $14.49

Highest minimum wage in state generally: $17.27 (large employer in Seattle


This means that some garnishment exemption amounts also increase. Private student loan exemption amounts, tied to the highest minimum wage in the State, increase as follows:

Weekly $863.50

Bi weekly $1,727.00

Semi monthly $1,877.34

Monthly $3,754.68



Consumer debt exemption amounts also increase as they are tied to the general minimum wage of the State.

Weekly $507.15

Bi weekly $1,014.30

Semi monthly $1,102.60

Monthly $2,205.20


Federal minimum wage remains unchanged and applies to general non-consumer, non-student loan, non child support, non spousal support type debts. Those amounts are unchanged from last year.


Law firms and form providers should be careful to adjust exemption claims and, especially, garnishment answer forms. If any outstanding wage garnishments are in place as the new year dawns some adjustment and partial releases may be required.


Consumers should be aware of and monitoring wage garnishments for employer compliance when applicable. Also, consumers should always consider contacting the attorney representing the garnishing creditor to make payment arrangements in lieu of ongoing garnishments.


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