Rhode Island Hours of Work: What you need to know

Employers that request or permit any employee to report for duty at the beginning of a work shift and do not furnish at least 3 hours' work on that shift must pay the employee an amount equal to three times the employee's regular hourly rate. This pay requirement applies when an employee reports for duty at the beginning of a work shift and the employer offers no work for him or her to perform. (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-12-3.2).
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Healthcare facilities may not require nurses who are paid hourly to work in excess of an agreed-on, predetermined scheduled work shift of 8, 10, or 12 hours. There is an exception for unforeseeable emergent circumstances when (1) the overtime is required only as a last resort and is not used to fill vacancies resulting from chronic short staffing, and (2) the employer has exhausted reasonable efforts to obtain staffing. "Reasonable efforts to obtain staffing" means that the employer will (a) seek people who volunteer to work extra time from all available qualified staff who are working at the time of the unforeseeable emergent circumstance, (b) contact all qualified employees who have made themselves available to work extra time, and (c) seek the use of per diem staff. The requirement that the employer exhaust "reasonable efforts to obtain staffing" does not apply in a declared national, state, or municipal emergency or a catastrophic event that substantially affects or increases the need for healthcare services. In no case may a healthcare facility require an employee to work in excess of 12 consecutive hours. Voluntary overtime in excess of an agreed-on, predetermined scheduled work shift is allowed.
The refusal of any employee to accept overtime work is not grounds for ...

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