Rhode Island

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

Hours worked in excess of 40 per week are to be paid at time and one-half the worker’s regular rate of pay.

 

Labor performed in any manufacturing establishment, and all mechanical labor, during the period of ten (10) hours in any one day, shall be considered a legal day’s work, unless otherwise agreed by the parties to the contract for the labor.

 

Work Hours for Minor Workers

    • For 16-17 year old – Work should not begin before 6:00 am or later than 11:30 pm (if no classes are scheduled on the following day, minors may be employed until 1:30 am) If the minor is not a student, there is no curfew. Maximum hours in Rhode Island is 9 hours per day (9 3/5 hours per day in a 5-day work week), 48 hours per week.
    • For 14-15-year-old – Work should not begin before 6:00 am or later than 7:00 pm (except 9:00 pm during school vacations).

Overtime

Hours worked in excess of 40 per week are to be paid at time and one-half the worker’s regular rate of pay.

 

Any employee of a summer camp open no more than six months of the year, police officers, firefighters and rescue service personnel employed by the cities and towns, employees of the state or political subdivisions of the state who elect through collective bargaining or other agreement or understanding to receive compensatory time off equal to 1.5 times the hours worked over 40.

 

Employees employed in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act receiving a salary of at least $200 per week (the salary divided by the number of hours worked must not violate the applicable minimum wage), salaried employee of a nonprofit national voluntary health agency who may elect compensatory time off for the hours worked in excess of 40.

 

Employees including drivers, driver’s helpers, mechanics and loaders of any motor carrier, including private carriers, with respect to whom the U.S. Secretary of Transportation has the power to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service; employee employed as a salesperson or parts person or mechanic primarily engaged in the sale and/or servicing of automobiles, trucks or farm implements and is employed by a non-manufacturing employer primarily engaged in the business of selling vehicles or farm implements, provided that the earnings exceed an amount equal to the employee’s basis contractual hourly rate of pay, times the number of hours actually worked, plus the employee’s basic contractual hourly rate of pay, 1.5 times the number of hours actually worked in excess of 40 hours per week.

Breaks

Rhode Island does not have rest breaks law that applies generally to private employers. However, certain private employers are covered by applicable federal law governing rest breaks.

Sunday Work

Work performed by employees on Sundays and holidays must be paid for at least one and one-half times the normal rate of pay for the work performed.

 

Any manufacturer of wall-covering products which operates for seven (7) continuous days per week, twenty-four (24) hours per day, is exempt from the requirement that the work be voluntary on Sundays provided, that the manufacturer increases employment by at least ten percent (10%), within one year of its conversion to continuous operation from non-continuous operation.

 

Any manufacturer that operates three (3) shifts, or begins its work week on Sundays, may begin the shift or start the work week at 11:00 P.M. on Sunday and not be required to pay its employees one and one-half times the normal rate of pay during the one hour period between 11:00 P.M. Sunday and 12 midnight.

 

Any and all employees of a chauffeur-driven limousine or taxicab company that operates seven (7) continuous days per week, twenty-four (24) hours per day are exempt from the payment of 1.5 times the rate if working on Sundays.

Annual Leave

Whenever an employee is separated from the payroll of an employer, after completing at least one (1) year of service, any vacation pay accrued by collective bargaining, company policy or other agreement between employer and employee shall become wages and payable in full or on a prorated basis with all other due wages on the next regular payday for the employee.

Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2018, the state’s hourly minimum wage is $10.10, an increase from 2017’s hourly rate of $9.60.

 

Full-time students younger than 19 working in a non-profit religious, educational, library or community services organization may be paid 90 percent of the minimum wage. Minors ages 14 and 15 working not more than 24 hours in a week may be paid 75 percent of the minimum wage. A wage under the statutory minimum may be paid to new employees during their first 90 days of employment and handicapped employees under licenses issued by the Department of Labor and Training.

Tips & Gratuities

Effective January 1, 2018, the state’s hourly minimum cash wage for tipped workers is to increase to $3.89, based on a maximum tip credit of $6.21. Gratuities may be considered part of the hourly wage rate for employees in restaurants, hotels and other industries, but not for drivers of cabs and limited public motor vehicles.

Meal Breaks

Employees must be allowed a 20-minute meal break within a six-hour work shift, and a 30-minute meal break within an eight-hour work shift. Employers are not required to compensate employees for their meal breaks. The meal break requirement does not apply to employers that are licensed healthcare facilities or that employ less than three persons on any shift at the worksite.

Special Leave

Paid & Unpaid Leave

Rhode Island Parental and Family Medical Leave Act requires that employers of 50 or more employees grant an unpaid leave of absence, upon the request of an eligible employee, for 13 consecutive weeks in any two calendar years, under certain conditions. Employees Eligible Employees are eligible to apply for leave if they are full-time employees who work an average of 30 hours a week or more and have been employed continuously for at least 12 months. The leave required to be provided under the Act must be for one or more of the following reasons:

      • Birth of a child of an employee; and/or
      • Placement of a child 16 years of age or less with an employee in connection with the adoption of such child by the employees; and/or
      • ‘Serious illness’ of the employee or the employee’s parent, spouse, child, mother-in-law, or father-in-law.

In order to be entitled to the leave, the employee must give at least 30 days notice of the intended date upon which the requested leave is to commence and terminate unless prevented by medical emergency from doing so. Employees may be requested to provide written certification from a physician caring for the person who is the reason for the leave request, which certification shall specify the probable duration of the requested leave.

School Involvement Leave

An employee who has been employed for 12 consecutive months is entitled to 10 hours of leave during any 12 month period to attend school conferences or other school-related activities for a child of whom the employee is the parent, foster parent, or guardian. A notice of 24 hours prior to the leave must be given to the employer by the employee. The leave is not required to be paid; except an employee may substitute any accrued paid vacation leave or other appropriate paid leave.

Adoptive Parent Leave

Any employer who allows sick time or sick leave of an employee to be used after the birth of a child shall allow the same time to be used for the placement of a child 16 years of age or less with an employee in connection with the adoption of the child by the employee.

Pregnancy Accommodation Leave

Under the law, a covered employer must provide an employee with time off to recover from childbirth if requested by the employee. The amount of time off that would be considered reasonable is not specified under the law. However, an employer may not require a pregnant employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided.

Jury Duty Leave

No employer doing business within the state of Rhode Island or otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the state of Rhode Island shall cause any of its employees to suffer the loss of the employee’s position, wage increases, promotions, longevity benefit, or any other emolument due to the employer-employee relationship because the employee has been called to serve jury duty; provided, however, that no employer, in the absence of a contract or collective bargaining agreement to the contrary, shall be responsible to pay to the employee any compensation for the period of the jury duty.

Military Leave

In addition to USERRA, Rhode Island provides job protections to members of the state military forces, National Guard and U.S. military reserves. Military members must be provided unpaid leave for military service or training. An employee who requests reinstatement within 40 days after completing military duties must be restored to his or her previous position (or a position of the same status, pay, and seniority).

Family Military Leave

Any employer, that employs between fifteen (15) and fifty (50) employees shall provide up to fifteen (15) days of unpaid family military leave to an employee during the time federal or state orders are in effect, in accordance with the provisions set forth in this section. Family military leave granted under this act may consist of unpaid leave.

 

Any employer, that employs more than fifty (50) employees shall provide up to thirty (30) days of unpaid family military leave to an employee during the time federal or state orders are in effect, in accordance with the provisions set forth in this section. Family military leave granted under this act may consist of unpaid leave.

 

The employee shall give at least fourteen (14) days notice of the intended date upon which family military leave will commence if the leave will consist of five (5) or more consecutive workdays. Where able, the employee shall consult with the employer to schedule the leave to not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer. Employees taking military family leaves for less than five (5) consecutive days shall give the employer advance notice as is practicable. The employer may require certification from the proper military authority to verify the employee’s eligibility to take the requested family military leave.

 

An employee shall not take leave as provided under this act unless he or she has exhausted all accrued vacation leave, personal leave, compensatory leave or time, and any other leave that may be granted to the employee, with the exception of sick leave and disability leave.

Healthy and Safe Workplace Act

Effective 1st July, 2018, all employees employed by an employer of eighteen (18) or more employees in Rhode Island shall accrue a minimum of one hour of paid sick and safe leave time for every thirty-five (35) hours worked up to a maximum of twenty-four (24) hours during the calendar year of 2018, thirty-two (32) hours during calendar year 2019 and up to a maximum of forty (40) hours per year thereafter, unless the employer chooses to provide a higher annual limit in both accrual and use.

 

Paid sick and safe leave time as provided shall begin to accrue at the commencement of employment or pursuant to the law’s effective date, whichever is later. An employer may provide all paid sick and safe leave time that an employee is expected to accrue in a year at the beginning of the year. Paid sick and safe leave time shall be carried over to the following calendar year; however, an employee’s use of paid sick and safe leave time provided under this chapter in each calendar year shall not exceed twenty-four (24) hours during the calendar year 2018, and thirty-two (32) hours during calendar year 2019, and forty (40) hours per year thereafter.

 

Temporary employees shall be entitled to use accrued paid sick and safe leave time beginning on the one hundred eightieths (180) calendar day following commencement of their employment unless otherwise permitted by the employer. Seasonal employees shall be entitled to use accrued paid sick and safe leave time beginning on the one hundred fiftieths (150) calendar day following commencement of their employment unless otherwise permitted by the employer. Paid sick and safe leave time shall be provided to an employee by an employer for:

      • An employee’s mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; an employee’s need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; an employee’s need for preventive medical care; or
      • Care of a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; care of a family member who needs preventive medical care; or
      • Closure of the employee’s place of business by order of a public official due to a public health emergency or an employee’s need to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency, or care for oneself or a family member when it has been determined by the health authorities having jurisdiction or by a health care provider that the employee’s or family member’s presence in the community may jeopardize the health of others because of their exposure to a communicable disease, whether or not the employee or family member has actually contracted the communicable disease; or
      • Time off needed when the employee or a member of the employee’s family is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

For employees working an average of:

      • Thirty-seven and one-half (37.5) to forty (40) hours per week, provide eight (8) hours per month for five (5) months;
      • Thirty (30) hours per week, provide five (5) hours per month for eight (8) months;
      • Twenty-four (24) hours per week, provide four (4) hours per month for ten (10) months;
      • Twenty (20) hours per week, provide four (4) hours per month for nine (9) months;
      • Sixteen (16) hours per week, provide three (3) hours per month for ten (10) months;
      • Ten (10) hours per week, provide two (2) hours per month for ten (10) months;
      • Five (5) hours per week, provide (one) (1) hour per month for ten (10) months.

Last updated on: September 27th, 2018