Connecticut Employment Law Update — May 2019

Connecticut

Minimum Wage Increase

On May 28, 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed legislation (H.B. 5004) incrementally increasing the state’s minimum fair wage to:

  • $11 per hour effective October 1, 2019.
  • $12 per hour effective September 1, 2020.
  • $13 per hour effective August 1, 2021.
  • $14 per hour effective July 1, 2022.
  • $15 per hour effective June 1, 2023.

Beginning October 15, 2023, the rate will be annually adjusted and the adjusted rate will take effect the following January first. This adjustment will be based on the percentage change in the employment cost index, or its successor index, for wages and salaries for all civilian workers, as calculated by the U.S.  Department of Labor, over the 12-month period ending on June 30th of the preceding year, rounded to the nearest whole cent.

Subminimum Wage

The rates for all persons under age 18 (subminimum wage), except emancipated minors, must be:

  • At least 85 percent of the minimum fair wage for the first 90 days of employment, or $10.10 per hour, whichever is greater; and
  • Equal to the minimum fair wage thereafter, except in institutional training programs specifically exempted by the labor commissioner.

On and after October 1, 2020, employers may not displace an employee, such as by reducing the employee’s hours, wages, or employment benefits, to hire an individual under age 18 at a subminimum rate. Employers found in violation of this law will have their right to pay a subminimum wage suspended for a specific period of time.

Gratuities

Effective July 1, 2019, the labor commissioner will recognize gratuities as follows:

  • In an amount equal to the difference between the minimum fair wage and the employer’s share per hour for persons, other than bartenders, who are employed in the hotel and restaurant industry, including a hotel restaurant, who customarily and regularly receive gratuities as part of the minimum fair wage and subminimum wage (hotel and restaurant industry employees).
  • In an amount equal to the difference between the minimum fair wage and the employer’s share per hour for persons employed as bartenders who customarily and regularly receive gratuities as part of the minimum fair wage (bartenders).

An employer’s share is $6.38 per hour for tipped hotel and restaurant industry employees and $8.23 per hour for bartenders who customarily and regularly receive gratuities.

The law is effective October 1, 2019.

Read CT H.B. 5004

Pregnancy Accommodation Guidance

On April 23, 2019, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities released guidance addressing federal law and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, both prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions.

Read the guide