Connecticut Sets Course for $15 Minimum Wage

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

May 20, 2019

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont today signed into law a bill that will raise the state minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023.

Connecticut joins California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and about three dozen cities, towns and counties that have, or will eventually have, a $15 minimum wage.

Under the new law, the Connecticut minimum wage will increase to:

  • $11.00, effective October 1, 2019;
  • $12.00, effective September 1, 2020;
  • $13.00, effective August 1, 2021;
  • $14.00, effective July 1, 2022; and
  • $15.00, effective June 1, 2023.

After that, the minimum wage will be adjusted for inflation once per year, starting January 1, 2024.

In a statement, Lamont said this schedule represents "a fair, gradual increase for the working women and men who will invest the money right back into our economy and continue supporting local businesses in their communities." But the Connecticut chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business argued that a $15 minimum wage will result in cuts to jobs and hours for entry-level workers.

The new minimum wage act also makes changes to Connecticut's tip credit rules by freezing the maximum tip credits at their current values ($6.38 for hotel and restaurant staff, and $8.23 for bartenders). As a result, the minimum direct cash wage will increase as the minimum wage increases.