As an employer, it's your job to know about the labor laws that set minimum wage rates. In the U.S., we have laws both at the federal and state levels that determine how much employees are entitled to earn.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the federal minimum wage, which you can find on the U.S. Department of Labor website. The current minimum wage for the country is $7.25 per hour, which hasn't changed since July 2009.
On the other hand, many states have increased their minimum wage since then to support their employees. The same is true for Connecticut, where state law sets a higher minimum wage for Connecticut residents.
Let's take a closer look at the minimum wage in Connecticut and when it will increase in 2023.
What Is Connecticut's Minimum Wage in 2023
Effective June 1, 2023, Connecticut's minimum wage is $15 an hour—up from $14 an hour set last summer.
The tipped minimum wage for restaurant and hotel workers is $6.38 an hour and for bartenders it's $8.23 an hour. Meanwhile, for minors in job training, it's $12.75 an hour.
Here's a breakdown of all the state's minimum wages and how they've changed (or not changed) over the past year:
|Effective Date||Minimum Wage||Restaurant and Hotel Workers||Bartenders||Training Period|
|July 1, 2022||$14||$6.38||$8.23||$11.90|
|June 1, 2023||$15||$6.38||$8.23||$12.75|
The recent wage increase is outlined in Public Act. No 19-4, which was signed into law by Governor Ned Lamont on May 28, 2019.
After the increase on June 1, 2023, the state will increase its minimum wage based on changes to the federal employment cost index (ECI), which measures changes in the cost of labor over time.
Do New Haven and Hartford use the State Minimum Wage?
Yes, Connecticut cities like New Haven and Hartford also use the minimum wage set by the state, so it's less work for the employers.
This may be a breath of fresh air for employers who've managed payroll for employees in California, where more than 10 cities have their own minimum wages.
Whether you manage a business in Connecticut or California, you can use Hourly payroll software to track the minimum wage changes and pay employees with a single click.
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Connecticut Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees and Minors
The state's minimum wage laws include two exceptions: one for qualifying tipped employees and the other for minors in job training.
The tipped minimum wages will not change in 2023.
In contrast, the training wage for minors is calculated as 85% of the standard rate. So, it will increase on June 1, 2023, when the standard minimum wage increases to $15.
Connecticut's Tipped Minimum Wage
Connecticut's tipped minimum wage for hotel and restaurant workers is $6.38 per hour. For bartenders, it's $8.23 per hour.
According to Connecticut law, hotel, restaurant, and bar employers can use the lower minimum wage rates for tipped employees as long as they receive enough tips to make equal to or more than what they would have earned with the standard minimum wage.
To better understand how that calculation works, let's look at a couple of examples.
Tipped Minimum Wage Example 1
Say it's December of 2023 and you have a server in your restaurant who worked 20 hours in a workweek and earned $250 in tips.
After the wage increase, an employee earning the standard minimum wage of $15 per hour would earn $300 for 20 hours.
So, your employee's tips and wages must be at least $300.
Let's calculate your employee's total wages using the $6.38 hourly rate for restaurant workers.
- Tips: $250
- Wages: $127.60 (which is $6.38 per hour for 20 hours)
- Total income: $377.60
Since your employee's total income of $377.60 is higher than the $300 they would earn with the standard minimum wage, you can pay the tipped minimum wage.
Tipped Minimum Wage Example 2
But what would happen if your employee only earned $100 of tips in that time?
In that case, the state's labor laws say that you would have to make up the difference between their income and what they would have earned if you paid them the regular minimum wage.
Their total income with the tipped hourly rate and $100 in tips would be:
- Tips: $100
- Wages: $127.60 (which is $6.38 per hour for 20 hours)
- Total income: $227.60
As they would've earned $300 with the standard minimum wage, you would start with the $300 and subtract $227.60 to get $72.40.
So, you pay them the $127.60 in hourly wages plus the $72.40 difference, a total of $200 for the week.
Minimum Wage for Training Periods in Connecticut
In Connecticut, you can pay minors a lower hourly minimum wage of $12.75 per hour for the first 200 hours or 90 days of employment.
(If you're reading this before June 2023, that wage is $11.90 an hour.)
After the training period ends, you'll have to pay them the regular minimum wage rate.
What States Have a $15 Minimum Wage?
As of June 1, 2023, four states have a minimum wage of $15. They are Connecticut ($15), California ($15.50), Massachusetts ($15), and Washington ($15.74).
Several other states have plans to adjust their labor laws by increasing the minimum wage to $15 or more in the next few years.
|State||When the minimum wage will go up to $15|
|Delaware||Jan. 1, 2025|
|Florida||Sep. 30, 2026|
|Hawaii||Jan. 1, 2026|
|Illinois||Jan. 1, 2025|
|Maryland||Jan. 1, 2025|
|Nebraska||Jan. 1, 2026|
|New Jersey||Jan. 1, 2024 (businesses with 6+ employees)
Jan. 1, 2026 (less than 6 employees)
|Rhode Island||Jan. 1, 2025|
|Virginia||Jan. 1, 2026|
Understanding the 2023 Minimum Wage Increase in Connecticut
In Connecticut, the minimum wage will go from $14 to $15 per hour on June 1, 2023. After that, the state will increase its minimum wage based on changes to the cost of labor, which is measured by the federal employment cost index (ECI).
You can find the future changes to the state's minimum wage on the Connecticut Department of Labor website at ct.gov/dol.
Now that you know how the minimum wage in Connecticut will change in 2023, you can mark your calendar and make sure you adjust your payroll rates on time.