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CT legislators plan to reintroduce legislation to raise minimum wage for tipped workers

A waitress serves pasta in a restaurant.
Luca Bruno
A waitress serves pasta in a restaurant.

Connecticut’s minimum wage will increase to $15.69 an hour in less than a month, but not for tipped workers, who can still legally be paid less than $7 an hour.

Lawmakers say they will introduce legislation to change that during the 2024 session. Similar legislation failed earlier this year.

The proposal is called One Fair Wage.

State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury), chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, said it’s time to make sure everyone is paid fairly.

“We have roughly 110,000 workers who, when we raised the minimum wage successfully over the last five years, we found that we left some people behind,” Kushner said. “And now, people who are earning a subminimum wage, waitstaff, bartenders, they've been stuck since 2017 with no increase in their base wages.”

Ed Hawthorne, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said that’s unacceptable.

“Think about how much has changed in the past seven years: high inflation, cost of groceries, housing prices going through the roof, I could go on,” Hawthorne said. “For seven long years, our tip workers have been stuck at a subminimum wage of $6.38.”

Similar laws have been passed in Washington D.C. and Chicago.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.