It’s easy during this pandemic to forget about the other laws that are coming into play this year and next.  Paid FMLA is going to be big.

But for now, employer have another one to consider: the minimum wage increase.

Last year, the General Assembly passed (and the Governor signed) a significant increase to the minimum wage that raised it to $11 per hour.

Now, effective September 1, 2020, it goes up again — another dollar increase to $12 per hour.

(The next increase will take place August 1, 2021 to $13 per hour.)

For some employers, the change couldn’t come at a worse time, but for employees who have been suffering through this pandemic — sometimes with only part-time work available — the increase will make a difference to some.

What’s notable is that the Labor Commissioner is empowered to recommend that minimum wage increases be suspended after two consecutive quarters of negative growth to the state’s GDP.

In the first quarter of 2020, the state did suffer its first negative growth of GDP – down 4.9 percent. And nationally, the GDP is estimated to have decreased by over 30 (!) percent. There is little doubt that Connecticut will mirror the national trend.

But as of now, those numbers haven’t yet been released, potentially taking the Labor Commissioner off the hook.

Of course, the Governor could still issue an Executive Order staying the increase, but there’s no indication that will happen.

So come Tuesday, employers need to be prepared to increase the minimum wage paid to employees to $12 per hour.