Connecticut

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

No employer shall employ any of his employees for a workweek longer than 8 hours daily and 40 hours weekly unless such employee receives remuneration for his employment in excess of the hours above specified at a rate, not less than 1.5 times the regular rate at which he is employed.

Overtime

As per the state’s overtime law, the employee must be paid 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday, and for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

Breaks

Employers must provide a rest period of at least 30 consecutive minutes to employees working 7.5 or more consecutive hours.

 

Breast Feeding Breaks

Any employee may, at her discretion, express breast milk or breastfeed on-site at her workplace during her meal or break period. An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express her milk in private.

 

Weekly Rest

No employer shall compel any employee engaged in any commercial occupation or in the work of any industrial process to work more than six days in any calendar week. An employee’s refusal to work more than six days in any calendar week shall not constitute grounds for his dismissal.

Annual Leave

Annual Leave is given to the employee at the discretion of the employer. They are fringe benefits based on an agreement between the employer and employee.

An employer is required to pay an accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. Conn. Stat. 31-76k. An employer is not required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter unless the employer has established a practice of doing so. See Santangelo v. Elite Beverage, Inc., 783 A.2d 500, 65 Conn. App. 618 (2001)

An employer may lawfully cap the amount of leave an employee may accrue over time. See Santangelo v. Elite Beverage, Inc., 783 A.2d 500, 65 Conn. App. 618 (2001). An employer would also likely be free to implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it. See Santangelo v. Elite Beverage, Inc., 783 A.2d 500, 65 Conn. App. 618 (2001).

Minimum Wage

Governor Ned Lamont signed House Bill No. 5004 on May 28, 2019. The bill, entitled “An Act Increasing Minimum Fair Wage,” increases Connecticut’s minimum wage to approximately $ 15.00 an hour over the next four years. The current minimum wage rate of $ 10.10 will increase under the new law in accordance with the following schedule:

      • $11.00 per hour on October 1, 2019;
      • $12.00 per hour on September 1, 2020;
      • $13.00 per hour on August 1, 2021;
      • $14.00 per hour on July 1, 2022; and
      • $15.00 per hour on October 15, 2023.

After October 15, 2023, increase, the minimum wage will be linked to the federal employment cost index and will be announced annually by the Labor Commissioner on January 1.

 

The above information on minimum wages might not be up to date & subject to change. Kindly access the DOL website for the current rates.

Meal Breaks

Employers must provide a meal/rest period of at least 30 consecutive minutes to employees working 7.5 or more consecutive hours. The meal period must occur after the first 2 hours of work and before the last 2 hours.

Special Leave

Paid Sick Leave

Employers with 50 or more employees (based on the number of employees on the payroll during the week containing Oct. 1) must provide paid sick leave to eligible employees. Eligible employees include full- and part-time service workers. Employees who are a day or temporary workers, per diem employees and employees who are considered exempt under the federal FLSA are specifically excluded.

Eligible employees must accrue one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked during a 365-day period chosen by employers, up to a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave per year. Accruals must be in one-hour increments. Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick leave each year, but may not use more than 40 hours in any year.

      • Beginning January 1, 2012, or for a service worker hired after said date, beginning on the service worker’s date of employment,
      • At a rate of one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked by a service worker, and
      • In one-hour increments up to a maximum of 40 hours per year.

Each service worker shall be entitled to carry over up to 40 unused accrued hours of paid sick leave from the current year to the following year but no service worker shall be entitled to use more than the maximum number of accrued hours in a year. Employers must provide accrual at a rate of 1 hour per every 40 hours worked.

 

The 40 hours worked means hours actually worked and does not include any time off (e.g., vacation, paid time off) taken by the service worker. Paid sick leave is to be accrued in a minimum of 1-hour increments. Service workers must also be allowed to use the accrued paid sick leave in 1-hour increments regardless of the employer’s timekeeping system. Service workers are not entitled to use the paid sick leave in lesser increments unless allowed by the employer. Service workers are entitled to accrue leave up to 40 hours per year, but employers do not have to provide more than that unless they choose to do so.

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to the main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Injured Armed Forces Leave

The law also allows eligible employees to take a one-time benefit of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period if the employee has a spouse, child, parent, or next of kin who is a member of the armed forces undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, or on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty.

Domestic and Family Violence Leave

If an employee is a victim of family violence, an employer shall permit the employee to take paid or unpaid leave during any calendar year in which such leave is reasonably necessary –

      • To seek medical care or psychological or other counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability for the victim, or
      • To obtain services from a victim services organization on behalf of the victim, (3) to relocate due to such family violence, or
      • To participate in any civil or criminal proceeding related to or resulting from such family violence.

Leave may be paid or unpaid. Employees with compensatory, vacation, personal, or other paid time off available may use that time for needed leave. Unpaid leave may be limited to 12 days during the calendar year. Employers are not required to provide paid time off to employees without any paid leave available.

Organ Donor Leave

A state employee who donates an organ to a person for organ transplantation shall be entitled to up to 15 days of paid leave (i.e. salary continuation) from state employment as a recovery period from such donation. – The “recovery period” consists of the surgery and the recovery from the surgery. It does not include pre-donation absences.

 

Organ Donor leave shall not result in a reduction in pay, the loss of any leave to which the employee is otherwise entitled, or a loss of credit for time or service or affect the employee’s rights with respect to any other employee benefits provided under federal or state law.

Bone Marrow Donor Leave

A state employee who donates bone marrow to a person for transplantation shall be entitled to up to seven days of paid leave (i.e. salary continuation) from state employment as a recovery period from such donation.  The “recovery period” consists of the transplantation procedure and the recovery from the procedure. It does not include pre-donation absences. Bone Marrow Donor leave shall not result in a reduction in pay, the loss of any leave to which the employee is otherwise entitled, or a loss of credit for time or service or affect the employee’s rights with respect to any other employee benefits provided under federal or state law.

Jury Duty Leave

An employer is prohibited from discharging, threatening, or coercing an employee who receives a jury summons, responds to the summons, or serves as a juror. Employees are entitled to leave from work for the duration of jury service. Full-time employees (those working at least 30 hours per week in a non-temporary capacity) must be paid their regular wages for the first five days of jury service unless the employees would not have accrued regular wages or would not have worked more than a half shift that extends into another day. An employer may not require an employee who has served eight hours of jury duty in one day to work in excess of those eight hours.

Military and National Guard Leave

In addition to the federal USERRA, Connecticut employers must allow employees who are members of the U.S. armed forces or the National Guard to take unpaid leave in order to perform military duty, including attending meetings or drills. Employees who take leave for these reasons may not lose vacation or holiday benefits or be unfairly discriminated against with respect to promotion, continued employment, reemployment, or reappointment.

Connecticut Family and Medical Leave

Employers with 75 or more employees must provide eligible employees with family and medical leave. To be eligible for leave, an employee must have been employed for 12 months and completed 1,000 hours of work in the 12 months prior to the leave. An eligible employee may take up to 16 workweeks of leave during any 24-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

      • The birth or adoption of the employee’s child;
      • The placement of a foster child with the employee;
      • Care for the spouse, son, daughter or parent of the employee with a serious health condition;
      • An employee’s own serious health condition;
      • An organ or bone marrow donation; or
      • Any qualifying exigency when the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is on active duty or is notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces.

Additionally, an employee may be entitled to a one-time benefit of 26 weeks of leave during a 12-month period to care for the employee’s spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a current member of the armed forces and is undergoing medical treatment due to a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty. Leave is unpaid. Employees may choose, or employers may require, the substitution of any paid vacation or personal or family leave available to employees.

Witness and Victim Leave

An employee is entitled to unpaid leave in order to: • Appear as a witness in any criminal proceeding; • Attend a court proceeding or participate in a police investigation related to a criminal case where the employee is a crime victim; or • Attend or participate in a court proceeding related to a civil case where the employee is a victim of family violence. Employers may not discharge, penalize, threaten, or coerce employees who take leave.

Pregnancy Leave

Employers with three or more employees must provide employees with an unpaid leave of absence for a reasonable amount of time due to disabilities resulting from pregnancy. Employers must also make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, such as providing time off to recover from childbirth. Employers cannot require employees to take a leave of absence due to pregnancy if reasonable accommodation can be provided instead of leave. Pregnancy means pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition, including (but not limited to) lactation.

Volunteer Firefighter and Ambulance Service Member Leave

An employer may not discharge or discriminate in any manner against any employee who is an active volunteer firefighter or member of a volunteer ambulance service for being late or absent from work as a result of responding to an emergency call prior to or during the employee’s regular working hours.

 

Employees must provide their employers with a written statement of their volunteer status within 30 days of being certified. Employees must also promptly inform their employers of any change in their volunteer status, including termination of volunteer status.

Elected Official Leave

Employers with 25 or more employees must grant a leave of absence to employees who accept a full-time elective municipal or state office. The leave must be granted for no more than two terms of office. Leave is unpaid.

Last updated on: June 10th, 2020