Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation May 28 raising Connecticut's hourly minimum wage to $15.
The move increases the wage by almost 50% in just four years. The hourly wage was last raised in 2017.
It goes from $10.10 to $11 in October, $12 in September 2020, $13 in August 2021, $14 in September 2022, and $15 in June 2023.
Any increases after Jan. 1, 2024 will be tied to the employment cost index, a quarterly metric created by the U.S. Bureau of Labor that details changes in labor costs across the country.
Small Business Impact
CBIA's Eric Gjede said the hike in the minimum wage will hurt small businesses.
"This will only make it harder and more costly to run a business here," he said.
"It's not what we need when Connecticut businesses—especially small businesses—have struggled to create jobs."
The Senate approved HB 5004 May 17 after seven hours of debate. That followed an overnight, 14-hour debate in the House.
Gjede said the measure will slow Connecticut's anemic recovery from the recession, force businesses to automate, cut workers, or reduce hours and benefits.
Tipped Workers, Training Wage
It will be especially tough on small businesses, Gjede said, making it harder to compete with larger companies that can better absorb cost increases.
Connecticut is already one of the costliest states in the country to do business.
And there are concerns that the increase will actually result in fewer jobs for low-wage workers.
The law retains the $6.38 minimum wage for tipped workers, which includes restaurant waiters, and the $8.23 minimum for bartenders.
It also includes a 90-day, $10.10 hourly training wage for 16- and 17-year-old workers.