CT LAWMAKERS STAND DOWN ON THREAT TO OVERRIDE VETO OF RESTAURANT BILL

Legislative leaders gathered last week in what was originally intended to be an attempt to override one of Gov. Ned Lamont’s first vetoes of a proposed bill.

The bill was intended to provide clarification to restaurant owners and their employees on how wages are to be paid. Currently, restaurants are permitted to pay wait staff and bartenders $6.38 and $8.23, respectively, which is less than minimum wage, provided 80% of the employee’s duties involve earning tips. Restaurant employees who receive tips often perform other duties like refilling and replacing condiments, wiping down tables, answering phones, restocking, etc. According to a press release, Governor Lamont vetoed the bill, in part, because “it [was] an illegal attempt to retroactively deprive restaurant workers of their day in court.” [Read More Here] 

At least half a dozen Connecticut restaurants are currently being sued by employees who claim that they should have been paid at the minimum wage of $10.10, not at the reduced rate. Rep. David Rutigliano (R), of Trumbull argued that restaurant owners have been following “one set of rules outlined by the CT [Department of Labor while] the federal government has another set of rules….” The outcome is that restaurant owners and employees alike are angry and confused, and are now seeking guidance as to how this issue should be handled going forward. [Read More Here] 

At the end of the day, lawmakers agreed not to vote to override the veto at this time, but instead, will collaborate on the issues addressed in that bill in a way that they hope will have the matter resolved by the end of the summer.

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