A plan to override Gov. Ned Lamont’s veto of a bill dealing with restaurant wages has been withdrawn, as Lamont’s fellow Democrats instead focus on trying to draft a new bill.
At issue is Lamont’s veto of HB 5001, “An Act Requiring a Study of Workforce Training Needs in the State,” which was predicated upon how employers deal with minimum-wage servers and bartenders. While those workers may receive tips for part of their service, they do not for other tasks away from the public, such as stocking inventory and busing tables, which typically pays more than gratuity-based work.
If an employer fails to monitor how much time is spent working for gratuities and how much for nontip work, they must pay the higher wage for all work.
HB 5001 would have required the state Department of Labor to create regulations, similar to federal labor law, that would let employers pay those with blended job responsibilities the lower minimum wage for all work.
In his veto message to Secretary of State Denise Merrill, Lamont wrote: “While it may be reasonable to conclude that state and federal laws should be consistent in this area, that conclusion ought to be made only after sufficient study, debate and input from affected stakeholders. That did not happen here.”
Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, who said last week that the legislature would consider overriding the veto, expressed hope yesterday that a compromise bill addressing Lamont’s concerns would be drafted over the next few days. The governor has indicated he is open to a compromise solution to the issue.