On July 1, 2021, nearly 100 new laws took effect in Connecticut. Below is a summary of some key new laws that will affect employers and the workplace.
Minimum Wage Increase—Effective August 1, 2021, Connecticut’s minimum wage increased from $12 per hour to $13 per hour. The minimum wage will increase to $14 per hour on July 1, 2022 and to $15 per hour on June 1, 2023. Beginning January 1, 2024, the minimum wage will be published in the employment cost index, which is computed by the U.S. Department of Labor, and for the first time in Connecticut, the rate will rise in accordance with economic indicators.
Recreational Marijuana—Connecticut became the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and older. The new law will eventually permit the retail sale of marijuana, and erase certain marijuana-related convictions and provides employment protections for recreational marijuana use. Employment-related provisions will come into effect July 1, 2022.
Employers may continue to prohibit employees from working under the influence of marijuana, and from possessing or using marijuana while performing duties or on the employer’s premises. However, beginning July 1, 2022, non-exempt employers (i.e., employers who are subject to the employment-provisions in the Act) may not prohibit the off work use of cannabis or take adverse action against a non-exempt employee (i.e., an employee who is protected under the Act) or a potential employee for a positive Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) test unless the employer has adopted a policy that states otherwise. Therefore, employers should review and update their drug and alcohol policy, as appropriate.
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