In short order, Connecticut has just jumped to the front of the line when it comes to increasing the minimum wage.

On Wednesday, March 26th, the General Assembly passed an increase to the minimum wage in Connecticut. This will amend the previous increases that had been negotiated last year and raises the minimum wage past the $10 mark.

Senate Bill 32 can be downloaded here.  Governor Malloy is expected to sign the bill into law Thursday evening.

There are three major changes brought about by this new law.

  • The New Minimum Wage.  The current minimum wage is $8.70 per hour; that was scheduled to go up to $9.00 on January 1, 2015.  Under the new law, there will instead be a serious of additional increases: (1) to $9.15 on January 1, 2015, (2) to $9.60 on January 1, 2016, and (3) to $10.10 on January 1, 2017.
  • The New Tip Credit.  As noted in the bill summary, the bill does not change the “tip credit” allowed by law. But it will now will automatically increase “the employer’s share of minimum wages for (1) hotel and wait staff from $5.69 to $5.78 in 2015, $6.07 in 2016, and $6.38 in 2017 and (2) bartenders from $7.34 to $7.46 in 2015, $7.82 in 2016, and $8.23 in 2017.”
  • Apprentice Rate.  The bill does not change the existing rule that allows employers to pay learners, beginners, and people younger than age 18 at a rate equal to 85% of the minimum wage for their first 200 hours of employment. The minimum wage increase scheduled under current law would have increased this learner’s wage from its current $7.39 to $7.65 on January 1, 2015. The bill instead effectively increases the learner’s wage to $7.78 in 2015, $8.16 in 2016, and $8.59 in 2017.