Connecticut appears poised to become the next state to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour, following the trend set by California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and most recently Maryland, in addition to numerous local jurisdictions.  Governor Ed Lamont is expected to sign H.B. 5004, which passed the state’s House and Senate earlier this month.

Under the bill, the state’s current minimum wage of $10.10 will increase to $11 on October 1, 2019. From there, it will increase one dollar every eleven months until it reaches $15 on June 1, 2023. Thereafter, increases will be tied to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Cost Index and become effective each year on January 1. The bill includes a provision under which the governor can recommend to the state’s legislature suspension of the increases after two quarters of negative growth in the state’s real gross domestic product.

The bill does not change the tip credit allowed for certain tipped workers, which remains $6.38 for tipped hotel and restaurant staff and $8.23 for bartenders.

Employers may still pay employees under the age of 18 a rate of no less than 85% of the minimum wage when they begin work, but the amount of time this sub-minimum wage is permitted will decrease from the first 200 days of employment to the first 90 days of employment. Additionally, this sub-minimum wage will no longer be available for learners and beginners or for emancipated minors.