Rhode Island Wage and Hour Investigations: What you need to know

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training may enter a place of business and inspect an employer's books, registers, payrolls, and other records related to wages, hours, and other conditions of employment. In addition, the Department may question employees in order to help determine whether the employer is in compliance with wage and hour laws. The employer must provide full and correct written statements, including sworn statements with respect to wages, hours, names, addresses, and other pertinent employee information. If necessary, the Department may require, by subpoena, the production of all books, records, and other evidence relevant to its investigation (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-12-14).
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An employer is in violation of the state's minimum wage law if the employer:
• Hinders or delays the department's investigation;
• Refuses to admit department personnel or its authorized representative;
• Fails to make, keep, and preserve records as required;
• Falsifies any record;
• Refuses to make any record accessible to the Department or its authorized representative on demand;
• Refuses to provide a sworn statement of the record or any other required information on demand; or
• Fails to post a summary of minimum wage requirements or a copy of any applicable regulation or order.
Violations are punishable by a fine of between $100 and $500. Each day of violation is considered a separate offense (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-12-15). If an employer discharges or discriminates against an employee because he or she has not been paid wages in accordance with the state's minimum wage law, has caused or is about to cause such a proceeding, has testified or is about to testify in such a proceeding, or has served or is ...

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