It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important Connecticut statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher. 

However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. 

It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns. 

Here are a few Connecticut labor laws every small business owner should know.

Resources

First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:

Leave

  • Sick Days: Most employers with 50 or more employees must provide paid sick leave to their service workers. 
    • Service workers are classified as employees who work in one of these designated occupations, are paid hourly and are not exempt from the overtime compensation requirements. 
    • Employers may also be required to provide unpaid sick leave under the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act and federal laws. 
  • Medical Leave: Under the recently signed Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act, employees at businesses with one or more staff members will be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a newborn, a newly adopted child, a seriously ill relative by blood or marriage, or a close associate who is the equivalent of a family member.
    • Employees dealing with their own serious health conditions or who are serving as a marrow or organ donor will also be eligible. 
  • Vacation Leave: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
    • Employers may establish a contract denying payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation of employment.
    • The contract may also disqualify employees from payment for vacation leave upon separation from employment if they are terminated or if they do not follow certain requirements such as giving two weeks notice. 
    • The amount of vacation leave accrued over time may be capped in the policy. 
  • Jury Duty: Employees must be paid for the first 5 days they spend on a jury unless the employer has been excused from paying the employee by the Chief Court Administrator. 
    • Employees may not be penalized for responding to a jury summons. 
    • An employer may not require an employee who has served 8 hours of jury duty in any one day to work more hours in that day. 
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays. 
  • Voting Leave: No statute 
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave. 

Final Paycheck

  • Employees who have been terminated must be paid final wages by the next business day.
  • Employees who quit or separate from employment due to a labor dispute must be paid final wages by the next regular payday. 

Minimum Wage

  • The current minimum wage in Connecticut is $10.10. 
  • A recently signed Connecticut law will increase the minimum wage over the next several years to $15:
    • $11.00 on October 1, 2019;
    • $12.00 on September 1, 2020;
    • $13.00 on August 1, 2021;
    • $14.00 on July 1, 2022; and
    • $15.00 on June 1, 2023.

Tipped Wages

  • The current minimum wage for tipped employees is $6.38. 
  • The minimum wage for bartenders who receive tips is $8.23. 

Child Labor

  • Minors under the age of 18 may not work in these industries
  • Minors 14 and 15 years of age may not work:
    •  During school hours
    • Before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m.
    • More than 3 hours a day
    • More than 18 hours a week 
  • Minors 16 and 17 years of age may not work:
    • Before 6 a.m. and after 11 p.m. 
    • More than 6 hours a day 
    • More than 8 hours per day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • Employers are required to pay non-exempt employees overtime at a rate of 1½ times their regular rate when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. 
  • Employers are required to provide a meal period of at least 30 minutes to employees who have worked 7 ½ or more consecutive hours. 
    • The break should be given some time after the first two hours and before the last two hours. 
    • An employer may be exempt from providing the required break if:
      • 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 5 employees on that shift at that one location (this only applies only to employees on that particular shift)
      • The employer’s operation requires that employees be available to respond to urgent conditions, and that the employees are compensated for the meal period.

Employment Discrimination

  • The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on race, color, religious creed, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, status as a veteran, present or past history of mental disability, intellectual disability, learning disability, or physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       

Termination

Connecticut is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action. 

Shift Scheduling

There are currently no laws regarding shift scheduling in Connecticut.

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