When many people take their first steps into the workforce or snag an entry-level job, they start off making minimum wage. As a result, understanding where the minimum wage in your area is set is essential. Not only does it give you a chance to estimate what you’ll earn. It also helps you decide if the compensation you’ll receive feels appropriate for the work involved. If you’re searching for a new job in the Constitution State. Here’s what you need to know about the minimum wage in Connecticut.
What Is a Minimum Wage?
Before taking a deep dive into the minimum wage in Connecticut, it’s critical to understand what a minimum wage is and how it can work. Overall, the minimum wage is a specific dollar amount. It’s the absolute lowest an employer can pay a covered nonexempt worker per hour.
Most of the workforce is made up of covered nonexempt employees. However, there are some workers who fall into other categories. For example, full-time students who are employed by particular institutions and student learners are exempt from minimum wage law. At times, disabled individuals are also exempt. This is only if working under specific kinds of contracts.
The Federal Minimum Wage
There are federal level minimum wage laws. These outline the minimum amount employers in the United States can pay.
At the federal level, nonexempt employees have to make at least $7.25 per hour if they are in a non-tipped position. For tipped jobs, the minimum wage is lower. Set at just $2.13 an hour. However, if a tipped worker’s tips fail to bring them up to the equivalent of $7.25 per hour. Their employer does have to make up the difference.
The current federal minimum wage was set in July 2009. While there have certainly been talks about increasing it. There is currently no passed legislation that is set to bump it up.
Now, it’s important to note that federal minimum wage laws are only a starting point. There are also additional minimum wage laws issued by some states or cities. While those can’t lower wages below the federal minimum wage, they can set a higher minimum wage. Which requires local employers to pay more.
What Is the Minimum Wage in Connecticut?
As of September 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Connecticut is $12.00 per hour for nonexempt employees. Tipped workers do have a lower minimum wage. Set at $6.38 per hour for qualifying hotel and restaurant employees, and $8.23 per hour for bartenders that commonly receive tips. If a tipped worker fails to earn the equivalent of $12.00 per hour once tips are taken into account. The employer does have to make up the difference.
The minimum wage in Connecticut is also scheduled to increase during the coming years. It will shift up to $13.00 per hour for non-tipped workers on August 1, 2021. On July 1, 2022, it will go up again, reaching $14.00 per hour for non-tipped employees. Finally, on June 1, 2023, it will hit $15.00 per hour for non-tipped workers.
Employment Cost Index
However, those increases aren’t necessarily the last changes. Starting on January 1, 2024, the minimum wage changes will be tied to the employment cost index. This is a metric calculated by the Department of Labor. Once that occurs, the minimum wage in Connecticut will rise when economic indicators show increases. Which allow Connecticut’s minimum wage to effectively keep pace with the economy.
Tipped workers won’t necessarily see base hourly wage increases at every step. However, if their tips fail to align with the new minimum wage for non-tipped employees. The employer has to cover that gap up to the new minimum wage, not the previous one.
Do you think the minimum wage in Connecticut is the right amount? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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