You would figure after six-plus years of doing this blog, I would’ve covered all the laws applicable to employers. But, perhaps in a testament to how many laws there are, there are still a few out there.
One of them is the Service Contract Act, (Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-57f, for the attorneys out there.) The Hartford Business Journal this week published a good column about it from attorneys David Golder and James Leva.
The law was put into place back in 2000. It applies in instances where an employer contracts with the State of Connecticut to provide food, building, property or equipment services (and, effective July 1, security services). In such instances,the law requires that a new “minimum” wage and benefit rate be paid to those employees, often several dollars higher than the conventional minimum wage.
The HBJ column explains how it would work in practice:
The SCA requires specific wages to be paid to employees based on their job classification. For example, as of July 1, a cashier who would typically earn minimum wage ($8.25 per hour) must be paid $10.14 per hour where the SCA applies.
Not only does the SCA increase the wages covered workers are paid, businesses covered by the SCA must provide their employees certain benefits based on the employee’s classification. They include: medical, surgical or hospital care benefits; training, disability, death, unemployment, and pension benefits; and vacation, holiday and personal leave.
For the cashier who should be paid $10.14 per hour, he or she must also be paid benefits at a rate $3.05 per hour.
The CTDOL has more about the act on its page. Penalties can range between $2500 and $5000 per violation. Have any more questions? The Department of Labor has a Frequently Asked Questions section for employers here.
For employers who have concerns about the law’s applicability to their business, be sure — as always — to consult with your local counsel to figure out the specifics.
Sometimes, minimum wage isn’t enough.