Posts

Connecticut Minimum Wage and Wage Orders

Connecticut revised its minimum wage posting and five industry-specific wage orders to reflect increases in its minimum wage rate increases that took effect January 1, 2014.

The revisions are considered mandatory, and employers in the affected industries must display the most current version of the wage order appropriate to their business classification.

The minimum wage posting (aka the Administration Regulations Poster) and other postings required for Connecticut employers are available as part of GovDocs Connecticut labor law poster packages in print and electronic formats.

What is the Connecticut Minimum Wage?

Connecticut was the first state in the U.S. to schedule a minimum wage increase to $10.10 per hour. The increase will occur in stages by 2017. For workers not covered by industry-specific wage orders, the standard Connecticut minimum wage rate schedule is:

  • January 1, 2014: $8.70
  • January 1, 2015: $9.15
  • January 1, 2016: $9.60
  • January 1, 2016: $10.10

What is a Connecticut Wage Order?

Along with California and New York, Connecticut is one of three states that requires employers in certain industries to post industry-specific wage orders that define and regulate:

  • Minimum fair wage rates
  • Calculation of payment
  • Overtime rates
  • Uniform, housing, and transportation allowances
  • Record-keeping requirements for employers

Connecticut established five separate wage orders covering restaurants, dry cleaners, laundry, beauty shop and mercantile businesses who must display the wage order specific to their industry for employees. Each wage order establishes a sub-minimum wage specific to those industries.

Connecticut Wage Order for Restaurant and Hotel Restaurant Occupations

Mandatory Order Number 8 details the minimum fair wage requirements for restaurant employees who are:

“engaged in the preparation and serving of food for human consumption, or in any operation incidental or supplemental thereto irrespective of whether the food is served at or away from the point of preparation, and irrespective of whether the preparation and serving of food is the sole business of the employing establishment.”

Tipped table service workers (waitstaff) earn:

  • January 1, 2014: $5.69 per hour plus gratuities
  • January 1, 2015: $5.78 per hour plus gratuities
  • January 1, 2016: $6.07 per hour plus gratuities
  • January 1, 2016: $6.38 per hour plus gratuities

Bartenders earn:

  • January 1, 2014: $7.34 per hour plus gratuities
  • January 1, 2015: $7.46 per hour plus gratuities
  • January 1, 2016: $7.82 per hour plus gratuities
  • January 1, 2016: $8.23 per hour plus gratuities

In addition to the statutes covering wage and hour laws which are contained in Title 31, Chapter 558, there are specific wage orders with regulations that cover restaurants, mercantile establishments, beauty shops, dry cleaning and laundry. The Administrative Regulations cover all other businesses. Posters with these regulations must be posted at the place of business. Connecticut also provides Spanish versions of the Administrative Regulations and the Restaurant Wage Order.

Minor Employees in Restaurants

Connecticut restaurants employing minors need to limit the hours worked by staff aged 16-17 years old; for example:

During the school years, minor employees may be scheduled only between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on days when there is school in session the following day (or until midnight if there is no school the following day) – and no more than six hours per day for a total of 32 hours per week.

The minimum wage for minor workers (17 or younger) is:

  • January 1, 2014: $8.70
  • January 1, 2015: $9.15
  • January 1, 2016: $9.60
  • January 1, 2016: $10.10

For more information about the regulation of minors employed in Connecticut restaurants, see the Connecticut Employment of Minors posting, which must be displayed by restaurants employing workers under the age of 18 years.

For more information, download the free A Guide to Wage and Workplace Standards Division and Its Laws from Connecticut Department of Labor (CDOL) Wage and Workplace Standards Division (WWSD).


Vermont Goes In Big with $10.50 Minimum Wage

In a nearly unanimous decision, the Vermont House of Representatives ended the 2014 legislative session with a 132-3 vote on a Bill (H.552) to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.50 per hour by 2018. The $10.50 rate will give Vermont the highest state minimum wage in the U.S.

The legislation has yet to be signed by Governor Shumlin, but he has expressed his support for a minimum wage increase, although his preference was for an increase to $10.10 by 2017.

Vermont’s new minimum wage rate represents a 20 percent increase over the current rate of $8.73 per hour.

Vermont Minimum Wage to Increase in Stages to $10.50 by 2018

The minimum wage in Vermont will increase in stages beginning January 1, 2016 until it reaches the $10.50 level beginning January 1, 2018. Thereafter Vermont’s minimum wage will increase annually by five percent or the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Vermont General Assembly’s Back-and-Forth on the Minimum Wage Rate

The House previously had passed a version that raised the minimum wage to a lower rate of $10.10. The Vermont Senate returned that version with mark-up that introduced the $10.50 level, which was then passed by the House.

Both houses of Vermont’s General Assembly reached agreement on the rate that was lower than the minimum wage levels originally introduced in their earliest Bills: $12.00 in the Senate and $12.50 in the House.

Vermont Required Minimum Wage Posting

It’s still early days for the required minimum wage posting to be released by Vermont, but as always, the GovDocs Research Department will continue to monitor for posting revisions. GovDocs Update Program customers will automatically receive the latest posting as part of our Vermont State-on-One poster, Vermont Combined State and Federal poster, or the Vermont Electronic Set.


California $9.00 Minimum Wage Begins July 1, 2014

With the passage of Assembly Bill 10, California minimum wage workers will receive a 12.5 percent raise from $8.00 to the new rate of $9.00 beginning July 1, 2014. California’s minimum wage will increase again January 1, 2016 to $10.00 per hour.

But is California’s Minimum Wage Increase Enough?

The increase, which California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law in September 2013, isn’t enough to create a living wage for California workers, according to California Representative Barbara Lee. She cited “$25, $26 an hour” as the needed rate for Californians to make ends meet.

California holds three of the top 10 most expensive metropolitan areas in the U.S. For example, renting a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco runs an average $2,200 per month, which is on par with the cost of rent in New York City. A single parent in Los Angeles with two children would need earn an hourly rate of $27.15 to support the family, according to living wage calculations by MIT. What’s the difference between minimum wage and living wage?

California Employers – Are You Ready for the New Minimum Wage?

California employers must display the latest minimum wage along other labor law postings required in the workplace. Employers should update their postings with the latest versions. If you need updated California labor law posters for your workplace locations, you can order them from the GovDocs labor law poster store and save 30% now when you use coupon code CALI2014. Choose from a variety of formats:


Move Over San Francisco – Richmond, Calif. to Take Top U.S. Minimum Wage

Above and beyond, that’s what the City of Richmond, California was striving for as they passed a minimum wage ordinance that would create a citywide minimum wage reaching $12.30 per hour by 2017, if the ordinance achieves final approval in May.

Beginning in 2018, the rate would be tied to Consumer Price Index to allow for cost-of-living increases.

Businesses with 10 or fewer employees would be exempt but would be subject to the California state minimum wage or Federal rate.

If approved, Richmond’s minimum wage rate would lead the six U.S. cities that have established their own rates. The other five include:

  • San Francisco, California – $10.74
  • San Jose, California – $10.15
  • Baltimore, Maryland – $7.25
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico – $8.60
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico – $10.51

JUNE 3, 2014 UPDATESEATTLE RAISES MINIMUM WAGE TO $15 PER HOUR

Seatac, Washington established a $15.00 per hour minimum wage for only hospitality and transportation workers, but the rate does not apply to employees across all industries in the city.

Oklahoma recently passed emergency legislation prohibiting its municipalities from establishing independent minimum wage rates.


Keep Informed of Labor Law News

Minnesota Raising Minimum Wage Rate

The nearly 155% increase moves Minnesota from the bottom four U.S. states with lowest minimum wage rates.

Minnesota’s minimum wage rate will increase in stages beginning in August 2014, eventually reaching $9.50 per hour by 2016. Beginning in 2018, the rate would be indexed to the implicit price deflator to help Minnesota workers’ wage keep up with inflation, but any annual increases would be capped at 2.5 percent of the previous rate.

The state’s current minimum wage is $6.15 per hour, but most businesses use the higher federal rate of $7.25 per hour. Minnesota’s minimum wage had not increased since 2005.

Senator Jeff Hayden, the Senate Bill’s author, said about 315,000 Minnesotans would benefit from the minimum wage increase.

The measure faced strong opposition in the Minnesota legislature. The Senate version eked out a 35-31 win and the House of Representatives voted 71-60. Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill into law April 14, 2014.

Minnesota Minimum Wage Timeline: Phasing In the Increase

Businesses with gross sales of $500,000 or more:

  • August 2014: $8.00 per hour
  • August 2015: $9.00 per hour
  • August 2016: $9.50 per hour

Large business can apply a $7.75 minimum wage rate for a 90-day training wage for 18- and 19-year-old employees, all 16- and 17-year-old employees (even after 90-day training), and employees who are foreign medical graduates working under a J1 visa.

Businesses with gross sales less than $500,000:

  • August 2014: $6.50 per hour
  • August 2015: $7.25 per hour
  • August 2016: $7.75 per hour

All Minnesota Businesses to Index to Inflation in 2018

Beginning in 2018, all wages would increase each year on January 1 by inflation measured by the implicit price deflator capped at 2.5 percent.

Minnesota Minimum Wage Posting Requirements for Employers

Employers will be required to display the new version of the Minnesota Minimum Wage posting. For customers enrolled in the GovDocs Update Program, we will provide the revised posting once it is released.

Lowest State Minimum Wage in the U.S.

Once Minnesota’s minimum wage increase takes effect, three states will retain minimum wage rate lower than the federal minimum wage of $7.25:

  • Georgia: $5.15
  • Wyoming: $5.15
  • Arkansas: $6.25

Minnesota Employers: Get Ready!

Maryland Second State to Raise Minimum Wage to $10.10

Citing efforts to strengthen Maryland’s middle class, Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law SB 331, which increases the minimum wage in Maryland to $10.10 in stages by 2018.

  • January 1, 2015: $8.00 per hour
  • July 1, 2015: $8.25 per hour
  • July 1, 2016: $8.75 per hour
  • July 1, 2017: $9.25 per hour
  • July 1, 2018: $10.10 per hour

The move puts Maryland at the top of the nation’s highest paid minimum-wage workers. Connecticut, which recently increased its minimum wage rate, will reach the $10.10 level by 2017.

Democratic Control and the Federal Minimum Wage

Maryland and Connecticut both are led by Democratic Governors and Democratic majorities in their state legislatures, only two states of 13 others have similar Democratic control. The legislation correlates to President Obama’s larger campaign to push the Federal minimum wage to $10.10 before the end of his second term.

Maryland Minimum Wage Increase Affects Postings

Employers in Maryland will need to display the current minimum wage posting in each year the rate changes. The State has issued the 2014 Maryland Minimum Wage and Overtime Law fact sheet, which is available as part of the GovDocs Maryland Posting Package. Each Maryland compliance package (printed poster or PDFs) includes workplace postings required for Maryland employers.


Connecticut Tops States with $10.10 Minimum Wage

Effective January 2017, Connecticut minimum wage workers will receive the highest state minimum wage rate in the U.S.

The Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation raising the State’s current $8.70 per hour minimum wage in each of the next three years to $10.10 in 2017.

  • 2014: $8.70
  • 2015: $9.15
  • 2016: $9.60
  • 2017: $10.10

Governor Daniel Malloy signed the legislation March 27, 2014. Similar state minimum wage rate increases are also being considered in Maryland, Massachusetts, Hawaii.

In a statement from the White House, President Obama took the opportunity to use Connecticut’s new minimum wage rate to promote his own push for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

I support these efforts, and I commend Governor Malloy for his leadership. But to truly make sure our economy rewards the hard work of every American, Congress must act. I hope Members of Congress, governors, state legislators and business leaders across our country will follow Connecticut’s lead to help ensure that no American who works full time has to raise a family in poverty, and that every American who works hard has the chance to get ahead.


Fashion Retailer Gap Inc. Voluntarily Raises Minimum Wage

Gap Inc. Joins Other Large Employers Setting Stage for Federal Minimum Wage Increase.

Citing its “Do More” employee initiative, Gap Inc. announced it would increase the minimum hourly rate for 65,000 U.S. employees to $9 in 2014 and to $10 in 2015. About 72% of its employees in stores, calls centers and distribution centers will receive the increased rate.

The move will affect workers across Gap Inc. divisions, including: Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, Piperlime and Intermix.

In addition to Gap Inc., other large employers such as Costco, Whole Foods, and In-N-Out Burger also have announced similar measure to voluntarily increase the wages of minimum wage workers. Walmart Stores Inc. is also considering a wage increase. With has 1.3 million U.S. employees, Walmart is the largest private-sector employer in the U.S.

President Obama, who recently made a high-profile shopping trip a Gap retail store, praised Gap Inc.’s decision.

“In my State of the Union address, I asked more businesses to do what they can to raise their employees’ wages. “I applaud Gap Inc. for announcing that they intend to raise wages for their employees beginning this year.”

The federal minimum wage currently is $7.25 per hour, but President Obama has been pushing to increase the rate to $10.10 per hour.



Keep Informed of Labor Law News!

Minnesota Minimum-Wage Workers About to Get a Raise?

Map of minimum wage rates in the United States...

Map of minimum wage rates in the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Minnesota may see an increase in its minimum wage in the 2013 legislative session. The Minnesota House of Representatives is debating a proposed rate hike to $9.50 whereas the state Senate is considering a more modest rate of $7.50. Democrats control both houses of the state’s legislature making passage of an increase likely, and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton already stated he would sign a minimum wage rate increase into law.

If passed, either increase would be the first increase for Minnesotan minimum wage earners since 2005.

The state’s minimum wage for large employers currently is $6.15 per hour, though many workers automatically receive the higher federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. Minnesota is one of only four states nationwide where the minimum wage on the books is lower than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Arkansas, Georgia, and Wyoming also have state minimum wages that fall below the federal minimum wage rate.

In a 2012 report, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry estimated 6.1 percent of Minnesota’s hourly workers were paid $7.25 an hour or less. The Department’s report also found:

  • Adjusted for inflation, the Minnesota minimum fell from $8.36 in 1974 to $6.15 in 2011.
  • Of all Minnesota hourly workers paid $7.25 or less, 45 percent work in food preparation and serving occupations.
  • Those without a high-school degree made up 31 percent of all hourly workers at or below the minimum wage.


Submitted by Chaunce Stanton