Connecticut Lawmakers Approve $15 Minimum Wage


Connecticut Lawmakers Approve $15 Minimum Wage

The Connecticut Legislature recently passed a bill to incrementally raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023.

Gov. Ned Lamont has pledged to sign the bill, which would make Connecticut the seventh state to phase in a $15-an-hour wage hike. Lawmakers in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Washington, D.C., also have approved such plans.

We've rounded up the latest news on this topic. Here are SHRM Online resources and news articles from other trusted media outlets.

Bill Sent to Governor's Desk

Connecticut's bill is awaiting Lamont's signature. If approved, the state's current minimum wage of $10.10 an hour would rise to $11 in October and increase by $1 each year until it reaches $15 in 2023. After that, the state's minimum wage would be adjusted based on the federal Employment Cost Index. Lamont has said he supports the wage hike. "With this increase in minimum wage, thousands of hardworking women and men—many of whom are supporting families—will get a modest increase that will help lift them out of poverty, combat persistent pay disparities between races and genders, and stimulate our economy," he said.

(NBC Connecticut)

Exception for Teenagers

Democrats who support the bill said the higher wage would benefit more than 330,000 Connecticut workers. Republican lawmakers, however, raised concerns about the impact the bill would have on small-business owners who can't afford wage increases. As a compromise, the bill will allow employers to pay a "training wage" of $10.10 an hour to workers who are younger than age 18 and work fewer than 90 days a year.

(Hartford Courant)

Is a Federal Minimum-Wage Hike Coming?

The last federal minimum-wage increase took effect 10 years ago. Congressional Democrats and worker advocates say a federal wage hike is past due. They argue that raising the federal rate to $15 an hour will bring it closer to a living wage. Opponents to a $15 federal minimum wage say that it would burden small-business owners with increased operating costs and have negative ramifications for the workers it's supposed to help. 

(SHRM Online)

[SHRM members-only HR Q&A: When can an employer pay less than the federal minimum wage under the FLSA?]

Minimum-Wage Rates by State

Many states have minimum-wage requirements that exceed the federal rate. To help ensure that the minimum wage keeps pace with the rising cost of living, many states adjust their rates annually. Others adjust their rates periodically through legislation or ballot initiatives. Here is a chart with the current minimum-wage rates for all 50 states.

(SHRM Online)

Local Wage Rates Might Be Higher

Employers should also check local wage rates, as they might be higher than the state minimum wage. In California, for instance, several cities have set their own rate, including Berkeley, Emeryville, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara and Santa Monica. Therefore, employers should check each relevant jurisdiction to determine whether they need to pay a higher minimum wage than the state level.

(SHRM Online


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