Rhode Island Employment Law: What are Employment Laws in Rhode Island?
Work days and hours
Rhode Island State laws do not specify the working days of the week, and hence Federal laws would be applied and a total of 168 hours would be considered. Of the seven work days, it is mandatory to provide one work day off as rest for 24 hours. Special permission can be taken if employees voluntarily are ready to work without a break.
As per Federal laws, a total of 40 hours of work per week is classified as regular work hours. According to Rhode Island laws, an employee must be given a break time for meals of 20 minutes for every six-hour work shift. For an eight-hour work shift, a 30-minute break has to be provided.
There are restrictions on the working of minors, those below 16 years of age cannot work in a factory or manufacturing facility. Those under the age of 14 years cannot work in business or industrial establishment. Minors are not allowed to work in any hazardous job. Minors are not allowed to work during school hours.
Leave in Rhode Island
- Sick leave: Rhode Island laws mandate that a paid leave of between 32 to 40 hours per year need to be given for every employee.
- Vacation leave: Rhode Island does not mandate paid or unpaid vacation benefits to be given to employees. They need to provide it only if they have committed to do so at the time of joining.
- Holiday leave: There is no provision for holiday leave in Rhode Island. However, employees have the right not to work on Sundays.
- Jury duty leave: An employer is required to allow employees to go for jury duty, but is not required to grant leave.
- Voting leave: Rhode Island does not have any requirement for voting leave to be provided for employees.
Work payment in Rhode Island
The state requires that employees should be paid for all the hours they put in at work. This includes work they do at the employer’s site and other sites. As Rhode Island laws do not stipulate this, federal laws would be applicable.
Time for travel taken for any work for the employers benefit should also be considered in the work hours.
Regarding meeting, training and other such activities, Rhode Island have no laws, and hence Federal law is applicable, which requires that this should be counted as a part of work hours.
Overtime needs to be paid at one and a half times regular pay if employees have to work more than 40 hours a week. Executives, administrative, and professionals earning more than $200 per week can be exempt from overtime.
As per Rhode Island law, the minimum wage paid to employees should be $10.10 per hour.
The minimum wage for employees who receive tips is $3.89 per hour.
Learners and Trainees cannot be paid a rate lower than the minimum wage that has been fixed. Apprentices and the disabled can be paid a wage less than the minimum wage with prior approval.
At the time of joining, employees need to be given a wage notice with details of wages paid, time and place of payment, etc. Wage stubs must be provided every month to employees.
Wages must be paid weekly, except for those who have a fixed monthly or yearly rate. It must be paid within nine days after the end of the specified pay period.
Employees can be paid by cash or check (without deductions) or direct deposit.
Other issues in Rhode Island
- The workplace needs to be smoke-free.
- Protection for whistleblowers is allowed as per Rhodes Island laws.
- Use of phones for texting while driving is not allowed.
- Equal pay for both men and women are mandatory as per Rhode Island law.