Last Friday, the Connecticut Senate voted to approve House Bill 5004 titled “An Act Increasing The Minimum Wage”, which was approved by the Connecticut House of Representatives. As the title suggests, this bill would increase the minimum wage to $15 by year 2023. However, there are several other important changes. It is expected that the Governor will sign this bill into law.

Yearly Increases

The bill would increase the minimum wage gradually from $10.10 to $15 as follows:

  • $11 on October 1, 2019
  • $12 on September 1, 2020
  • $13 on August 1, 2021
  • $14 on July 1, 2022
  • $15 on June 1, 2023

Thereafter, beginning January 1, 2024, the bill would create annual minimum wage adjustments based on the percentage change in the employment cost index (or its successor index) as calculated by the United States Department of Labor. Any of the minimum wage increases, however, could be suspended by the Connecticut Labor Commissioner if there are two consecutive quarters of negative growth in the state’s gross domestic product.

Wages For Employees Under The Age of 18

The bill would require that all persons under the age of 18 years (except for emancipated minors) be paid not less than the greater of $10.10 or 85 percent of the minimum wage for the first 90 days of employment and then the current minimum wage thereafter.

Beginning October 1, 2020, the bill would prohibit employers from taking action to displace an employee for the purpose of hiring persons under the age of 18 at a wage below the minimum wage. Displacing an employee means “partial displacement of an employee, such as reducing the employee’s hours, wages or employment benefits.”

Tip Credit

The bill would maintain tip credits for bartenders and hotel and restaurant staff. Employers would still be able to pay $6.38 to hotel and restaurant staff and $8.23 to bartenders so long as the employees’ tips make up the difference between their reduced wage and the minimum wage.

We will continue you to keep you updated on this bill and any changes before it is signed into law.