Last night, the State Senate approved increasing Connecticut’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023 and the bill is headed to the Governor’s desk. Under the bill, minimum wage increases to $11 per hour effective October 1, 2019 and then incrementally by one dollar per year thereafter, reaching $15 by June 1, 2023. The
The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a proposed rule that would change the minimum salary threshold for exemption for the so-called “white collar” exemptions – the administrative, executive, and professional exemptions.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires that employees receive minimum wage and overtime (calculated at one-and-a-half times the regular rate of…
Connecticut employers need to be aware of two significant changes in the law surrounding internships.
The first is a new state statute including unpaid interns in the protections afforded to employees with respect to discrimination and harassment. Employers should update their handbooks and training materials to ensure that interns receive the same protections as employees…
Wage violations are about to get more costly for Connecticut employers. A new statute, effective October 1, 2015, requires courts to award double damages plus court costs and attorneys’ fees if an employer has failed to pay an employee’s wages (including minimum wage and overtime owed), accrued fringe benefits, or arbitration award. The new law…
Connecticut employers must begin paying $9.15 per hour to their employees on January 1, 2015 as part of legislation designed to raise the state minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2017. For restaurant waitstaff who receive sufficient gratuities, the employer must pay $5.78 per hour under the new minimum wage, but the employee must…
For employers, preparing for winter weather includes ensuring all employees are paid properly on snow days. Many employers are surprised to learn that their payroll does not take a snow day when their employees do. While snow days are probably the most common application of the principles discussed in this article, these rules apply to…
This is Part 3 in a 6-part series on Connecticut Employment Laws You Didn’t Know Existed.
Any time you are having employees pay you – whether through a payroll deduction or by having the employee pay you directly – you are walking into a legal minefield. Deductions are typically allowed only when there is some…
This is Part 1 in a 6-part series on Connecticut Employment Laws You Didn’t Know Existed.
Do you pay your employees at least weekly? If you answered no, you are in good company. Bi-weekly pay (paying employees every two weeks) is probably the most common choice of pay frequency. However, a quirky feature of Connecticut’s wage payment statute makes weekly payment the default rule. For most employers, the only way to pay less frequently than once a week is to obtain permission from the Commissioner of Labor.
Fortunately, it is very easy to request permission to pay bi-weekly. Employers can simply fill out the form available at http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/wgwkstnd/forms/paywaiver.htm, and within a few weeks, the Connecticut Department of Labor will respond. The request is almost always granted. This form can only be used by employers requesting permission to pay bi-weekly. Employers that wish to pay less frequently (e.g. semi-monthly or monthly) can send a letter to the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Wage and Workplace Standards division stating the reason for the request. However, such requests are less likely to be granted. Paying less frequently than monthly is not permitted.
As summer approaches, many companies are beginning to hire students to work as unpaid interns. While unpaid internships are a time-honored tradition, they are almost always illegal in the for-profit world. Typically, the so-called “intern” is actually an employee who must be paid minimum wage and, if applicable, overtime. Depending on state law, Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment might also apply to these individuals. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in enforcement surrounding this issue, and employers can no longer assume their unpaid internships will go unchallenged. Like with most other employment laws, it does not matter if the individual agrees to an arrangement that is not permitted by law. “The intern agreed to work unpaid” and “everyone in my industry does it” will not defeat a lawsuit or Department of Labor audit.
Many employers are under the mistaken impression that if the intern receives academic credit, there is no need to pay the intern. This is not true. Although some states require academic credit in order for the intern to be unpaid, this is never the sole factor.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 6-part test, for-profit companies must pay interns at least minimum wage, unless all of the following criteria are met:
- The intern must receive training and the training is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;
- The training is for the benefit of the intern;
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under their close observation;
- The employer derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.
The Obama Administration’s goal of increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 has for the moment stalled in the Senate. A Republican led filibuster has all but killed the President’s hopes of signing the Bill, which would increase the minimum wage by the November mid-term elections.
Senate Republicans, citing concerns about the effects that an…