The minimum wage in Connecticut increased to $10.10 per hour as of January 1, 2017. It was $9.60 per hour for 2016, $9.15 per hour for 2015, and $8.70 per hour for 2014.
For 2017, any employee who customarily receives at least $30 in tips per month must be paid at least $6.38 per hour by the employer, and the employee’s wage and tips must combine to equal at least the minimum wage rate of $10.10. If an employee’s wages and tips do not combine to equal at least minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. The employer’s tip credit percentages will increase along with the minimum wage so as to maintain the employer’s share of tipped employees’ wages at present dollar levels.OVERTIME
All non-exempt employees must be paid 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 in a seven-day week. – Overtime is calculated on a weekly basis. Even if an employee works 12 hours in one workday, he or she will not receive overtime pay unless he works more than 40 hours in that week.EXEMPTIONS
Employers must follow both Connecticut wage law and United States federal law. These require employers to pay all “employees” a minimum wage and increased rate for overtime. However, the definition of employee has many exceptions under Connecticut law. An exemption means the worker is not considered an employee and is not entitled to the increased overtime rate. See this page for a list of exemptions. The “White Collar” exemptions are the most common in Connecticut, although the state does not identify the “computer professional” exemption provided under federal law. In addition to the requirements listed below each exemption, a worker must receive a salary of at least $455* per week in order to qualify (except for the outside sales exemption). These exemptions are:
- Worker’s fulltime responsibility (at least 80% of time working) must be managing at least two employees
- Worker’s primary duty (at least 80% of time working / 60% for retail & service employees) must be non-manual work related to business operations, management policies, or administrative training
- Examples of job fields under the Administrative exemption:
- Tax and financial consulting
- Worker’s primary duties (at least 80% of time working / 60% for retail & service employees) must require advanced knowledge and extensive education
- Job must be intellectual (rather than physical)
- Worker must be expected to use discretion and judgment
- Examples of “Learned Professionals”:
- Lawyers (but not paralegals)
- Registered nurses (but not licensed practical nurses)
- Funeral directors and embalmers
- Examples of “Creative Professionals”:
- Outside Sales
- Worker’s primary duties (at least 80% of time working) must be making sales or taking orders outside of their employer’s main workplace
*New rules increasing this salary amount were set to go into effect on 12/1/16 but have been delayed by a lawsuit brought by several states. Please see this page for the latest updates.
Car Salesman / Mechanic
An additional overtime exemption exists for any salesman primarily engaged in selling automobiles. The definition of “salesman” includes any person employed by a licensed new car dealer:
- whose primary duty is to sell maintenance and repair services
- whose pay rate is greater than 2 times the minimum wage rate
- who earns commissions that are more than 1/2 of their total compensation<
- who does not work more than 54 hours per week.
Connecticut does not have a state law requiring additional pay for work completed on weekends or holidays. Employers do not have to offer pay for time not worked, including vacation or holiday but employers may offer it if they so choose. Generally, Connecticut employers with at least 50 employees must provide paid sick leave, with some limitations.MEAL BREAKS / REST PERIODS
Connecticut employers can give workers breaks of thirty minutes or more without being paid, as long as the employee is fully relieved of his duties.REPORTING TIME PAY
Neither Connecticut nor the Federal law requires payment if an employee reports to work expecting to work for a certain number of hours but does not get to work their full schedule.STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS
Employees seeking unpaid wages or overtime have two years to file suit. If the employee’s violation was willful, the employee has three years to file suit.REMEDIES / PENALTIES
Connecticut employers who withhold wages are liable for as much as double the amount of unpaid wages, costs, and attorney’s fees. Misclassified employees successfully recover over $140,000,000 from Connecticut employers each year. Failure to pay appropriate wages is also a crime. In addition to civil penalties, violators can face misdemeanor charges.See this page for further details about the Connecticut Wage and Hour laws.