Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–571. Definitions.

For purposes of this subchapter —

(1) The term “wages” means compensation paid or payable for personal services whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus, or otherwise, and includes periodic payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program.

(2) The term “disposable wages” means that part of the earnings of any individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld.

(3) The term “garnishment” means any legal or equitable procedure through which the wages of any individual are required to be withheld for payment of any debt.

(4) The term “domestic partner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3).


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 554, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Dec. 17, 1971, 85 Stat. 678, Pub. L. 92-200, § 5; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 4(a), 53 DCR 1035.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-571.

1973 Ed., § 16-571.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 15-503, § 16-512, and § 16-582.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-79 added par. (4).

Cross References

District of Columbia employees, attachment and garnishment of wages, see § 1-507.

Work release program participants, exemption of wages from attachment and garnishment, see § 24-241.06.

Child support enforcement, income withholding, see § 46-208.

District of Columbia fiscal management, capital improvements, authorization of lease-purchase financing, see § 1-204.90.

Fraudulent conveyances, remedies of creditors, see § 28-3107.

Seizures of personal property, exemptions, “earnings” defined, see § 15-503.

Superior Court of the District of Columbia, jurisdiction, see § 11-921.