Effective January 1, 2023, the Rhode Island Equal Pay Law prohibits employers from paying an employee at a wage rate less than the rate paid to employees of another race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age (40 years or older), or country of ancestral origin for comparable work (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-6-17 et seq.).
Comparable work. Under the law, the term “comparable work” means work that requires substantially similar skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions. Determining whether jobs are comparable will require an analysis of the jobs as a whole. Minor differences in skill, effort, or responsibility will not prevent two jobs from being considered comparable.
Employer. The law uses the same definition of “employer” as the state’s wage and hour law and includes an individual, a firm, a partnership, an association, a joint stock company, a trust, a corporation, a receiver (or another officer appointed by a state court), and any agent or officer of any of the listed entities that employs a person in the state.
Occurrence of discriminatory practice. Under the law, a discriminatory practice occurs whenever a discriminatory compensation decision or practice is adopted, an individual becomes subject to it, or an individual is affected by its application. This includes each payment of wages, benefits, or other compensation that results, in whole or in part, from a discriminatory decision or practice.
Wage. The law defines “wage” to mean all amounts of compensation, whether fixed or based on a time, a task, a piece, a commission basis, or another method of calculation of the amount, ...