Connecticut Labor Laws 2024 | Wage and Hour Laws in Connecticut


Connecticut Labor Laws

Connecticut labor laws, including Connecticut labor laws 2024, impact the daily lives of employees and employers in Connecticut. Residents of Connecticut have many questions that affect them every day regarding Connecticut labor laws from minimum wage rates, overtime, wage payments, vacation and sick leave, child labor, meal and rest breaks, and more.

In addition to Connecticut labor laws, employer must also comply with federal labor laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and many other federal laws. And when federal laws are different from state Connecticut labor laws, usually companies must comply with the law that provides their workers the best protection.

Below we provide comprehensive information and resources regarding your more pressing Connecticut labor law questions to help you answer the question and help you make the right decision about you and your employment.



Minimum Wage

The minimum wage rate for Connecticut is $13.00 per hour, but this amount is subject to another increase by the end of June 2022. By July 1, 2022, the minimum wage rate will change to $14 per hour, increasing by a dollar, and on June 1, 2023, it will turn into $15 per hour.     

Connecticut’s current minimum wage rate is $13.00.

For more information on Connecticut’s minimum wage laws, visit our Connecticut Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.

Related topic covered on other pages include:


Overtime

Connecticut labor laws require employers to pay employees overtime at a rate of one and one-half times (1½ times) their regular rate of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Some exceptions apply. CT Statute 31-76b-76i. An employer must also comply with federal overtime laws. See FLSA. Federal law will apply in cases where it benefits employees more, otherwise, state law applies.

If an employee benefits more if the federal law is followed, the employer is encouraged to follow it instead. On a side note, employers don’t have an obligation to pay overtime for work done on Saturdays, Sundays, and even holidays, unless it is more than 40 hours in a workweek.


Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in Connecticut may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates.

Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Connecticut Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.

Generally, Connecticut follows the federal wage rates determined by the US Department of Labor based on county and trade.

The prevailing wage rate comes from a CBA or Collective Bargaining Agreement, where union workers receive equal hourly pay. The US Department of Labor determines the wage using weighted average rates in other instances.


Meals and Breaks

Connecticut labor laws require employers to provide their employees a meal period of at least thirty (30) consecutive minutes if they have worked for seven and one half (7½) or more consecutive hours. Such period shall be given at some time after the first two (2) hours of work and before the last two (2) hours. The Labor Commissioner will exempt an employer from this requirement if one of the following conditions is present:

  • complying with this requirement would endanger public safety;
  • the duties of the position can only be performed by one employee;
  • the employer employs fewer than five (5) employees on that shift at that one location (this only applies only to employees on that particular shift); or,
  • the employer’s operation requires that employees be available to respond to urgent conditions, and that the employees are compensated for the meal period.

CT Statute 31-51ii.

There are no state laws requiring an employer to provide a break. However, in accordance with federal law, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty (20) minutes, must be paid. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods.


Nursing Mother Breaks

Connecticut labor laws require employers to allow employees who are nursing mothers to express breast milk during meal and rest breaks. 

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide nursing mother employees with private locations where nursing mothers may express breast milk. The locations must be in close proximity to the nursing mothers’ work areas. Toilet stalls do not meet the minimum standards for the nursing mothers location.

Reasonable efforts to provide the minimum requirements for nursing mother locations may not impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business. Whether an employer will suffer an undue hardship by providing a nursing mother location involves how significant the difficulty or expense of it will be related to such factors as:

  • the size of the business
  • its financial resources
  • the nature and structure of its operation

An Act Concerning Breastfeeding in the Workplace or House Bill #5158 took effect on October 1, 2021. It expands the employer’s obligation on nursing mothers’ employees’ rights to breastfeed or extract breast milk during their scheduled breaks in the workplace.

The statute covers all Connecticut employers, requiring them to provide a private lactation room free from intrusion and the public. It must also include a refrigerator or one near the room or portable cold storage provided by the employee to preserve breast milk.

CT Statute 31-40w


Vacation Leave

The Connecticut labor laws do not oblige the employers to offer vacation leave benefits to their employees. If an employer decides to do so, they must ensure that these benefits are within the employment contract terms.

An employer may create a contract or policy denying an employee any payment of his accrued vacation leave benefits after separating from the company or failing to comply with requirements.

Information about Connecticut vacation leave laws may now be found on our Connecticut Leave Laws page.


Sick Leave

A Connecticut law passed in January 2012 requires some employers to provide paid sick leave benefits to their employees under service worker classifications. Under the law, an employee or service worker earns an hour of paid sick leave for every 40 worked hours.

Employers are mandated to allow employees to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave or equal to five days in one calendar year. Employees carry over unused paid sick leaves into the next calendar year but can only use 40 hours out of the earned sick leaves.

Under Connecticut’s sick leave law, eligible employees may use accrued sick time:

  • for his or her own
    • illness, injury, or health conditions;
    • medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or
    • preventative medical care
  • for his or her child’s or spouse’s
    • illness, injury, or health conditions;
    • medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or
    • preventative medical care
  • when he or she is a victim of family violence or sexual assault
    • for medical care or psychological or other counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability;
    • to obtain services from a victim services organization
    • to relocate; or
    • to participate in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to the family violence or sexual assault

Employees under the non-service worker category may also enjoy sick leave benefits if the provider complies with the employment contract or policy terms. Connecticut employers may be asked to provide unpaid sick leave benefits to their employees in line with the state’s or the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Information about Connecticut sick leave laws may now be found on our Connecticut Leave Laws page.


Connecticut Family and Medical Leave

Under the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Law, employers are required to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period. Employees who have worked at least three (3) consecutive months may use the family and medical leave for:

  • The birth of a child and care within the first year after birth;
  • The placement of a child with employee for adoption or foster care and care for child within the first year after placement;
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition;
  • Because of the employee’s own serious health condition;
  • To serve as an organ or bone marrow donor;
  • To address qualifying exigencies arising from a spouse, son, daughter or parent’s active duty service in the armed forces; or
  • To care for a spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin with a serious injury or illness incurred on active duty in the armed forces.

Under the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Law, a family member includes a spouse (the person to whom one is legally married), sibling, son or daughter, grandparent, grandchild or parent, or an individual related to the employee by blood or affinity whose close association the employee shows to be the equivalent of those family relationships (significant personal bond).

Employer with 50 or employees may also be required to provide family and medical leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).


Holiday Leave

There is no specific law for Connecticut private employers to provide paid or unpaid holiday leave benefits. Alternatively, private employers may ask their employees to work on holidays without expecting premium pay. However, they will receive overtime pay for working hours beyond 40 hours a week.

Information about Connecticut holiday leave laws may now be found on our Connecticut Leave Laws page.


Jury Duty Leave

Under the state law, Connecticut employers must pay the first five days or part of their full-time employees performing jury services unless the Chief Court Administrator excuses them from paying.

Casual or temporary employees don’t have the same privilege but may receive a $50 allowance daily, reimbursing out-of-pocket expenses for the initial five days.

All jurors performing jury duty for more than five days receive a reimbursement of $50 a day from the state. Employers cannot discharge, threaten, penalize, or coerce employees for responding to a jury summons.

Information about Connecticut jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Connecticut Leave Laws page.


Voting Leave

The signed Senate Bill 1202 on June 23, 2021, is a mandate for employers to provide unpaid two-hour time-off for casting their votes. To be eligible, employees must submit a request at least two days before election.

Information about Connecticut voting leave laws may now be found on our Connecticut Leave Laws page.


Severance Pay

Connecticut labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.


Unemployment

Under certain circumstances, Connecticut residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Connecticut State Unemployment Benefits.


Other Connecticut Labor Laws Topics and Resources

There are several other Connecticut labor laws governing the employers and their workplaces. Below are those topics and resources:

  • Connecticut child labor laws for children 17 years of age and younger including topics including work during school hours and summer hours, school days and non-school days, summer days of employment (usually June 1 to Labor Day), hour restrictions, work permits, and hazardous occupations.
  • The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities protects employees workplace civil rights and against discrimination and retaliation. Employees are also protected by federal discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The state and federal discrimination laws offer employees protections and violations based on the following:
Mental disability, intellectual disability, or physical disabilitySex, including sexual harassmentGender expressionNational Origin
RaceSexual orientationReligionAncestry
CreedGender identityAge (40+)Pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions
ColorGenetic informationMarital statusVeteran status
  • Connecticut labor laws regarding wage payment laws including covering frequency and manner of wage payments, regular paydays, payday, pay period, deductions, direct deposit and payroll cards, wage statement, record keeping, final paychecks, and notice requirements.
  • Connecticut labor laws regarding minimum wage and overtime exemptions covering non-exempt employees and exempt employees.
  • Connecticut labor law regarding hours worked including rest breaks, meal breaks, on-call, waiting, travel, sleeping, and meeting times.
  • The Connecticut Department of Labor manages Occupational Safety and Health (Conn-OSHA) and helps employer comply with laws and regulations regarding workplace safety and health. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) which covers federal workplace safety and health requirements.
  • Active duty employees, including those in the national guard, and veterans may also be eligible for military leave under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
  • The Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission manages workers’ compensation in Connecticut and worker compensation insurance claims and enforcement. Employees who are injured on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that minimizes the financial impact on the employee.
  • Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, employers in Connecticut are required to provide 60-day advanced notice to any employees that may be impacted by a business closing or mass layoff if 50 or more employees will be impacted.
  • If Connecticut employers provide employees health insurance benefits, they must comply with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) that provides health coverage protections to employees under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events.
  • Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers must provide applicants and employees prior notice before conducting background checks involving credit reports. Other rules and limitation may also apply.

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