Connecticut's minimum wage increases to $8.70 effective Jan. 1, 2014

You may voluntarily choose to pay those hours worked in 2013 at the higher minimum rate of $8.70 per hour, but your legal obligation is to use the minimum rate applicable at the time the work was performed. That means hours worked in 2013 must be paid no less than $8.25 per hour, and hours worked in 2014 paid no less than $8.70 per hour. This is no different from a situation where a worker might perform various tasks that pay different rates, based on complexity, customer pricing, or time of day, resulting in a week of total hours reflecting several hourly rates.

In the event the weekly total hours worked exceed 40, and overtime pay is owed, you have to calculate an average hourly rate for the week. To do that, tally up total straight-time wages for all hours worked at each applicable hourly rate; divide that total by the total hours worked, giving you an average hourly rate for the week. Then divide that average hourly rate by two and multiply that half-time rate by the number of overtime hours worked. That will yield a gross pay amount that includes overtime pay at time-and-a-half of a blended or average hourly rate.

Two-Part Increase

The increase to $8.70 is the first part of a two-year increase in the minimum wage. On January 1, 2015, in accordance with Public Act 13-117, Connecticut's minimum wage will increase to $9.00 per hour.

Although the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25, Connecticut businesses must pay the state minimum wage.

Under section 31-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes and Public Act 13-117, the Connecticut minimum wage rate for service employees, specifically restaurant wait staff and bartenders, is determined by using a formula that takes tip deductions into account. The rates can be found here, or by contacting the Labor Department's Division of Wage and Workplace Standards at (860) 263-6790.

History of the Minimum Wage

For an interesting perspective on the progression of both Connecticut's and the federal minimum wage since they were first enacted, check out these charts:

CT Minimum Wage chart

Federal Minimum Wage chart.

What was the minimum wage when you were born? When you got your first job? Do the math--what does that add up to as a weekly or annual wage? You've come a long way baby!!