Connecticut

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

No employer shall employ any of his employees for a workweek longer than 40 hours 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.

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.

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.

 

There is also a provision that allows the labor commissioner to recommend minimum wage increases against scheduled increases,

those recommendations are submitted to the governor according to the law, who then submits recommendations to the General Assembly of Connecticut as to whether the minimum wage increases should be suspended.

 

Employers may want to reassess their current pay practices to ensure that the increases start on October 1, 2019, are met.

Employers must pay employees compensated solely at piece rates a sufficient amount to yield an average rate of at least the state minimum wage for each hour worked in any week. Employers must pay employees compensated solely on a commission basis an average of at least the minimum wage for each hour worked. When employers pay employees in accordance with a plan providing for a base rate plus commission, the wages paid weekly from these combined sources must equal at least an average of the state minimum wage for each hour worked in any work week.

Tips & Gratuities

Effective January 1, 2017, the state’s hourly cash minimum wage for tipped employees is to increase to $6.38 for wait staff and $8.23 for bartenders, based on a maximum tip credit of $3.72 for wait staff and $1.87 for bartenders. Connecticut law sets its tip credit as a percentage of the minimum wage for such workers (hotel and restaurant employees: 36.8 percent; bartenders: 18.5 percent). Employers may use an employee’s tips to meet that percentage of their minimum wage requirement. So, as the state’s minimum wage increases, the value of the tip credit and the tipped minimum wage also increase.

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

Each employer shall provide paid sick leave annually to each of such employer’s service workers in the state. Such paid sick leave shall accrue –

      • 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 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.

Disability Leave

Disability leave for the birth of a child would be considered FMLA leave for a serious health condition and counted in the 16 weeks of leave permitted under FMLA. A serious health condition may result from injury to the employee “on or off” the job. Either the employer or the employee may choose to have the employee’s FMLA 16 week leave entitlement run concurrently with a workers’ compensation absence when the injury is one that meets the criteria for a serious health condition. As the workers’ compensation absence is not unpaid leave, the provision for substitution of the employee’s accrued paid leave is not applicable.

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.

An employer may limit unpaid leave to 12 days during any calendar year.

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.

Last updated on: May 31st, 2019