Connecticut Minimum Wage Rules

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            The Connecticut minimum wage statute requires covered employees to be paid no less than the federal minimum wage, plus one-half of one percent rounded to the nearest whole cent,  or the amount stated by statute, whichever is greater. Under this definition, the current minimum wage in Connecticut is $8.25 per hour. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-58(j).

            When an employee is compensated solely at piece rates, the employee must be paid an average rate of at least the minimum wage for each hour worked in any week, and the wage paid to such employee shall not be less than the minimum wage for each hour worked.

            When an employee is compensated at piece rates for certain hours of work in a week and at an hourly rate for other hours, the employee’s hourly rate shall be at least the minimum wage and his earnings from piece rates shall average at least the minimum wage for each hour worked on piece rate for that work week, and the wage paid to such employee shall not be less than the minimum wage for each hour worked.

            When an employee is employed at a combination of an hourly rate and a piece rate for the same hours of work (i.e., an incentive pay plan superimposed upon an hourly rate, or a piece rate coupled with a minimum hourly guarantee), the employee shall receive an average rate of at least the minimum wage for each hour worked in any week and the wage paid to such employee shall be not less than the minimum wage for each hour worked.

            When an employee is compensated solely on a commission basis, the employee shall be paid weekly an average of at least the minimum wage per hour for each hour worked.

            When an employee is paid in accordance with a plan providing for a base rate plus commission, the wage paid weekly to the employee from these combined sources shall equal at least the minimum wage for each hour worked in any work week. All commissions shall be settled at least once each month in full. When earnings are derived in whole or in part on the basis of an incentive plan other than those defined herein, the employee shall receive weekly at least the minimum wage for each hour worked in the work week, and the balance earned shall be settled at least once monthly. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-60-1.

            Employees engaged to work as a mechanic, laborer or worker on the construction, remodeling, refinishing, refurbishing, rehabilitation, alteration or repair of any public works project by the state or any of its agents, or by any political subdivision of the state or any of its agents shall be paid the prevailing wage and employee welfare fund contribution for the same work in the same trade or occupation in the town in which the public works project is being constructed. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-53(a).

Special Wage Orders

            All industries, except those covered by special wage orders, are subject to the general minimum wage statute. Special wage orders cover beauty shops, laundry trades, cleaning and dyeing operations, mercantile trades, and restaurant and hotel restaurant occupations. The following information summarizes the major variations between the general minimum wage statute requirements and those found in the specific wage orders. As each wage order is extremely detailed, covered employers are strongly encouraged to review the full wage order relevant to their specific industry. See Conn. Agencies Regs. §§ 31-62-A1 through 31-62-E12.

Beauty Shops

         -In no event shall tips be counted as part of the minimum wage for employees covered by this wage order. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-A5.

         -Employees who by request, or by permission of the employer, report to duty shall be compensated for a minimum of 4 hours’ earnings at the employee’s regular rate. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-A2(b).

         -The employer shall furnish employees cosmetics and supplies including, but not limited to, emery boards, orange wood sticks, combs, hairbrushes, nets, permanent wave rods and protectors, and curlers and linens. The employee shall furnish the implements including nippers, scissors, files, buffers, tweezers and marcel irons, except such as are part of the shop equipment.

         -Charges for uniforms and their maintenance may equal, but not exceed, the actual cost charged to employers for uniforms or for laundry. In no case may the charge to employees for uniforms, for uniform maintenance or for sharpening of instruments bring the wage paid below the minimum. When charges are made in the form of deductions from the wage, the wage paid, minus the charge, shall be equal to or in excess of the appropriate minimum wage.

         -No charge shall be made to any employee for beauty service rendered in the place of employment or for material used therefore. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-A8.

 

Laundry Trades

         -Any female or minor employee employed in the laundry occupation and any adult male employee engaged in production work in the laundry occupation, including piece workers, regularly reporting for work, unless given adequate notice the day before to the contrary, or called for work in any day, shall be assured a minimum of four hours' earnings and shall be paid the minimum rate or his regular rate, whichever is higher, if the employee is able and willing to work for that length of time. Payments shall be made even though no work is provided by the employer, except when the plant's regular working day on Saturday is less than four hours, in which case payment shall he made as above for a minimum of three hours. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-B2(c).

 

Cleaning and Dyeing Trades

         -Any employee regularly reporting or called for work in any day shall be assured a minimum of four hours' earnings and shall be paid the minimum rate or his regular rate, whichever is higher, if the employee is able and willing to work for that length of time. Payment shall be made even though no work is provided by the employer, except when there is a suspension of operations due to breakdown or an act of God. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-C2(c).

         -Where a person is engaged in operations incidental to cleaning and dyeing and is also engaged in duties other than cleaning and dyeing and when the work time records are not separated, the higher rate shall prevail. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-C2(d).

         -Each employee who is paid on a piece work, commission or other basis shall receive not less than the minimum wage for the first forty hours worked each week and not less than one and one-half times the minimum rate, or one and one-half times the regular hourly rate, whichever is higher for all hours worked in excess of forty per week. Regular hourly rate is computed by adding together the employee’s total weekly earnings from piece rates or commissions and all other incentive wage allowances and any sums paid for waiting time or other hours worked and then dividing this sum by the number of hours in the week for which compensation was paid to yield the pieceworkers’ or commission workers’ “regular rate” for that week. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-C2(f).

 

Mercantile Trade

         -This wage order generally applies to those engaged in the wholesale or retail selling of commodities. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-D1(c).

         -An employee who, by request or permission of the employer, reports for duty on any day whether or not assigned to actual work shall be compensated for a minimum of four hours’ earnings at the employee’s regular rate. In instances of regularly scheduled employment of less than four hours, as mutually agreed in writing between the employer and employee, and approved by the labor department, this provision may be waived, provided the minimum daily pay in every instance shall be at least twice the applicable minimum hourly rate.   Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-D2(d).

         -The cost of uniforms or other facilities required by the employer as a condition of employment, and the reasonable cost of their maintenance, may not be charged to the employee if such expense would result in the payment of a wage less than the minimum prescribed in this order. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-D11.

 

Restaurant and Hotel Restaurant Occupations

         -This order permits employers to take a tip credit of 31% for service employees whose sole duties relate to the serving of food and or beverages to patrons seated at tables or booths, commonly known as waiters or waitresses. When such employees perform non-service duties such as cleaning, preparing food, washing dishes, hosting, or waiting on take-out customers, they must be paid the full minimum wage, without any tip credit deduction. A bartender tip credit of 11% is permitted while the employee is engaged in bartending duties. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-E3.

         -The current minimum wage for waitpersons is $5.69 per hour, and $7.34 for bartenders, however each such employee must be paid at least the normal minimum wage, currently $8.25 per hour, when tips are included.

         -If an employee performs both service and non-service duties, and the time spent on each is definitely segregated and so recorded, the allowance for gratuities may be applied to the hours worked in the service category. If an employee performs both service and non-service duties and the time spent on each cannot be definitely segregated and so recorded, or is not definitely segregated and so recorded, no allowances for gratuities may be applied as part of the minimum wage. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-E4.

         -Any employee regularly reporting for work, unless given adequate notice the day before to the contrary, or any employee called for work in any day shall be assured a minimum of two hours' earnings at not less than the minimum rate if the employee is able and willing to work for the length of time. If the employee is either unwilling or unable to work the number of hours necessary to insure the two-hour guarantee, a statement signed by the employee in support of this situation must be on file as part of the employer's records. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-E1(b).

         -Not less than one and one-half times the minimum rate must be paid for all time worked on the seventh consecutive day. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-62-E1(c).

 

Deductions Below the Minimum Wage

Credit for Tipped Employees

            Tipped employees working in industries other than restaurants or hotel restaurants, where gratuities have, prior to July 1, 1967, customarily and usually been part of an employee’s remuneration, are subject to the following rules. Gratuities may be recognized as part of the minimum wage for such tipped employees only when the 3 following conditions are met:

    1.    The employee must be engaged in employment in which gratuities are customarily and usually recognized as a part of wages;

    2.    The amount of tips received for which a credit is claimed must be recorded on a weekly basis as a separate item in the wage record, even though payment is made more frequently; and

    3.    The tips must be received and retained by the employee for whom the credit is claimed.

            Such employees may be paid a minimum wage of up to 35 cents per hour less than the regular minimum wage of $8.25. However, the wage paid, plus gratuities, must be at least equal to the minimum wage for each hour worked. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-60-2.

 Taxes

            Employers are required to deduct and withhold tax from the wages of employees and file a withholding return as prescribed by the Commissioner of Revenue Services. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 12-707. Taxes must be withheld even if the withholding reduces net pay below the minimum wage.

Wage Garnishment and Other Court-Ordered Deductions

            Creditors are normally permitted to garnish an employee’s earnings after receiving a judgment against the employee. All wages earned during the pay period in which the garnishment is received are subject to garnishment, depending on allowable exemptions. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-362.

Voluntary Assignments to Third Parties

            Connecticut law forbids voluntary assignment by an employee of future wages to secure a debt. The statute does not apply to union dues and initiation fees, or to payment of amounts due for support in public welfare cases, or payments pursuant to a family support judgment. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-361(a)(i).

Board, Lodging and Other Facilities

         -Wages paid to any employee may include the reasonable value of board and/or lodging and may be considered as part of the minimum wage if such a condition is made known to and accepted by the employee at the time of hiring or change of classification as a usual condition of employment. In accordance with the foregoing: An allowance or deduction of not more than eighty-five cents for a full meal and forty-five cents for a light meal will be permitted as part payment of the minimum wage, provided such allowance or deduction shall be made in accordance with the hiring agreement which provides for such an allowance or deduction. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-60-3(b).

         -No allowances or deductions in excess of $2.55 a day for full meals as supplied, or in excess of ninety cents for light meals, as supplied, will be permitted as part payment of the minimum wage. In any case where full meals are made available to the employee by the employer, the allowance of eighty-five cents for a full meal as defined will be permitted as part payment of the minimum wage. In such a case the employee may not elect the light meal in lieu of the full meal. Allowances or deductions may be made only for meals consistent with the employee’s work shift when the employee is on duty, and only for meals consistent with a regular meal schedule when the employee is off duty. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-60-3(e).

         -An allowance or deduction of not more than $4.00 a week for a private room, or of not more than $3.00 a week for a room shared with others, will be permitted as part payment of the minimum wage, provided the allowance or deduction shall be made in accordance with a hiring agreement which provides for such an allowance or deduction. An allowance or deduction for lodging will be permitted as part payment of the minimum wage only when the facility supplied conforms to reasonable specifications with respect to size, privacy, sanitation, heat, light and ventilation. All such facilities shall be open to inspection by an authorized representative of the labor commissioner at any reasonable time. When housing consisting of more than one room is provided for the employee and such circumstances are established in the hiring agreement, the labor commissioner shall establish a reasonable allowance for such housing. No allowances or deductions will be permitted as part payment of the minimum wage when an employee is required to share a bed. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-60-3(f).

 

Apparel

            An allowance (deduction) not to exceed $1.50 per week or the actual cost, whichever is lower, may be permitted to apply as part of the minimum wage for the maintenance of wearing apparel or for the laundering and cleaning of such apparel when the service has been performed. When protective garments such as gloves, boots or aprons are necessary to safeguard the worker or prevent injury to an employee or are required in the interest of sanitation, such garments shall be provided and paid for and maintained by the employer without charge upon the employee. “Apparel” means uniforms or other clothing supplied by the employer for use in the course of employment but does not include articles of clothing purchased by the employee or clothing usually required for health, comfort or convenience of the employee. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-60-9.

 Subminimum Wages

Minors in government

            Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 who are employees of the state or any political subdivision thereof shall be paid a minimum wage of not less than 85% of the state minimum wage. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-58a.

   Minors in agricultural employment

             Minors between the ages of 14 and 18 who are agricultural employees shall be paid a minimum wage of not less than 85% of the state minimum wage. However, such employees who are employed by employers, who during the preceding calendar year did not employ 8 or more workers at the same time, shall be paid a minimum wage of not less than 70% of the state minimum wage. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-58a.

   Minors under the age of 18

               Minors at least 16 years of age, but not over 18 years of age, may be employed at a rate not less than 85% of the minimum wage for the first 200 hours of employment. When a minor has had an aggregate of two hundred hours of employment, he may not be employed by the same or any other employer at less than the minimum wage. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-60-6(a).

Workers with Disabilities

            Employers may seek a special license from the Connecticut Department of Labor to pay a person whose earning capacity is impaired by age, physical or mental deficiency, or injury, a wage less than the minimum wage for a period of time fixed by the Department and stated in the license. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-67.

 Apprentices

            Apprentices duly registered by the Connecticut State Apprenticeship Council of the Labor Department may not be employed at less than the minimum wage unless permission has been received from the Labor Commissioner through an application process. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-60-8.

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