What are wage and hour laws?
Wage and hour laws set the basic standards for pay and time worked -- covering issues like minimum wage, tips, overtime, meal and rest breaks, what counts as time worked, when you must be paid, things your employer must pay for, and so on.
Where do wage and hour laws come from?
The federal wage and hour law is called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Most states also have their own wage and hour laws, and some local governments (like cities and counties) do, too. An employer who is subject to more than one law must follow the law that is most generous to the employee. For example, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, but employers in states that have set a higher minimum wage must pay the higher amount.
What is the minimum wage in Connecticut?
The minimum wage in Connecticut is $9.15 per hour in 2015. The minimum wage will increase to $9.60 on January 1, 2016 and then to $10.10 on January 1, 2017.
Is the minimum wage different in Connecticut for tipped employees?
The FLSA allows employers to pay a lower hourly minimum wage, as long as that wage plus the tips the employee earns adds up to at least the full minimum wage for each hour worked. If not, the employer has to make up the difference. Connecticut allows employers in the hotel and restaurant industries to take a tip credit for certain employees. In 2015, employers must pay at least $5.78 per hour to wait staff and $7.46 per hour to bartenders. This means that employers may take a tip credit of $3.37 per hour for wait staff and $1.69 for bartenders, as long as the employee’s tips bring the total hourly wage up to the state minimum wage. These numbers are scheduled to increase in 2016 and 2017 along with the increase in minimum wage.
(For more information, see Nolo’s article Tips, Tip Pooling, and Tip Credits.)
When am I entitled to earn overtime?
In Connecticut, eligible employees must receive overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. Also, employees who work in restaurants and hotel restaurants must receive overtime for all hours worked on a seventh consecutive day of work. Not every type of job is eligible for overtime, however. To learn more, see Nolo’s article Overtime Pay: Your Rights as an Employee and contact the state Labor Department.
Am I entitled to a lunch or rest break?
Yes. Employees in Connecticut are entitled to a meal break of 30 minutes, unpaid, after the first two hours of work and before the last two hours for those who work seven-and-a-half or more consecutive hours. Employees who already receive at least 30 minutes of paid breaks during the workday are not entitled to an additional unpaid meal break.
To learn more about wage and hour laws in Connecticut, contact the state Labor Department.
Finding an employment law attorney
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Last updated on 01/29/2014.