Wage and Hour Issue Articles

Compensating Home Care Workers

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             Effective January 1, 2015, changes to federal and Connecticut law will impact the compensation of home care workers. Federal DOL Final Rule Fact Sheet and Public Act 14-159. Home care workers typically provide “companionship services, including “fellowship” and “protection,” for elderly or disabled persons. “Fellowship” is defined as engaging the person in social, physical and mental activities, while “protection” means being present in the person’s home, or accompanying them outside to monitor their safety and well-being. Examples of companionship services include conversation, reading, games, crafts, accompanying a person on a walk, running errands, and attending appointments and social events. Companionship services differ from “care,” which includes assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing, grooming, feeding, bathing, toileting and transferring.

Connecticut Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2015

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              Effective January 1, 2015 the Connecticut minimum wage will increase to $9.15 from the current $8.70 per hour. Further increases will bring the rate to $9.60 on January 1, 2016, and to $10.10 on January 1, 2017. Public Act 14-1. The Act also changes the tip credit for hotel and wait staff to $5.78 for 2015, $6.07 for 2016, and $6.38 for 2017, from the current $5.69. For bartenders, the tip credit will move to $7.46, $7.82, and $8.23 in each respective year from the current $7.34. Therefore, hotel, wait staff, and bartenders will not see an increase in earnings comparable to non-tipped employees, unless patrons increase their tipping habits.

Connecticut Work Hour Rules

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Hours Worked 

            Eight (8) hours of labor performed in any one day by any one person shall be a legal day’s work, unless otherwise agreed. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-21.

            “Hours worked” includes all time during which an employee is required by the employer to be on the employer’s premises or to be on duty, or to be at the prescribed work place, and all time during which an employee is employed or permitted to work, whether or not required to do so, provided time allowed for meals shall be excluded unless the employee is required or permitted to work. Such time includes, but shall not be limited to, the time when an employee is required to wait on the premises while no work is provided by the employer. Working time in every instance shall be computed to the nearest unit of 15 minutes. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 31-60-11.

Connecticut Overtime Rules

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The Regular Rate of Pay

            Under Connecticut law the “regular rate,"  which is used to calculate the overtime rate, shall include all remuneration for employment paid to, or on behalf of, the employee, but shall not include:

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).


 

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