The Connecticut Senate voted late today to override the veto of the minimum wage bill that was sent to Gov. Rell last month. The vote was 25-9 in the Senate. The vote completes the override process of the minimum wage bill that I discussed here earlier today.
Thus, effective January 1, 2009, the minimum wage in Connecticut will increase to $8.00/hour and on January 1, 2010, the minimum wage will increase to $8.25/hour. The bill language can be found here.
Notably (and not widely reported), the General Assembly has also voted to override the veto of the tip credit bill applicable to people such as waiters and bartenders. Changes to the tip credit are also effective January 1, 2009 and you can read the changes in the bill here. Essentially, the gratuity allowance for service employees in the restaurant industry will increase to $2.48/hour, up from current levels of $2.24/hour. A history of those increases can be found here. The rate for bartenders will also change as well. The DOL has a website page devoted to restaurants here.
Gov. Rell today was quick to criticize the legislature in a statement she released:
This is a seriously short-sighted decision that – even if well-intentioned – will have long-lasting negative consequences for employers and employees alike all over Connecticut. An increase in the minimum wage will bring an increase in the costs of goods and services, the loss of jobs and unrecognized costs to employers in the form of higher Social Security, unemployment tax and workers compensation payments.
CT Newsjunkie has this additional report on the vote.
For employers, the override means a few things and it’s worth clarifying a few points as well:
Not only will wages needs to increase for the lowest paid workers in January, but workplace posters will need to be updated as well.
As I’ve said before, although federal law provides a different minimum wage, Connecticut will apply to employees in Connecticut. Thus, regardless of what an employer may hear now, it will need to apply this law starting in January.
Even though the General Assembly has overriden the veto, and the law becomes "effective" October 1, 2008, it will not apply to employers until January 1, 2009. While employers may certain increase wages beforehand, there is no legal requirement to do so. Until then, the minimum wage in Connecticut remains at $7.65/hour.