Connecticut employers may recall discussions about a minimum wage increase to $10.10. However, we have not yet reached that point, though–that will be the number in 2017.
As of January 1, 2015, the Connecticut minimum wage is $9.15, with $5.78 for the restaurant industry. See, http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/wgwkstnd/wage-hour/history.htm . Employers, please make sure your payroll company is aware of this change and that you accounted for it in processing last week. If not, you could be liable to your employees for multiple damages and attorneys’ fees. Employers in the restaurant industry should also ensure that tips + $5.78 equals $9.15.
All employers should consider the mid-week effect on overtime pay. You might be liable for time and a half at the increased rate.
In thinking about minimum wage and overtime changes, now is the perfect opportunity to review your payroll practices:
- Are you keeping proper time records?
- Are you paying weekly, unless exempt?
- Are you sure the non-exempt employees are still non-exempt based on job duties?
- Are you sure your independent contractors are truly independent contractors?
- Do you have any unpaid interns who might actually be owed minimum wage?
- Are your other policies and procedures up to date?
Any employer, no matter the size, can face wage and hour liability, and even if you have EPL Insurance, you might not be covered. It is always best to consult with experienced counsel regarding these issues.