Effective July 1, 2018, the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act requires covered employers to provide employees with paid sick or safe leave. (R.I. Gen. Laws 28–57–1 et seq.).
Covered employers. The law applies to employers with 18 or more employees in Rhode Island. Employers with fewer than 18 employees are exempt from the paid leave requirements; however, prohibitions against retaliation under the act apply to all employers.
Covered employees. The law generally applies to all private employees; however, there are some specific exceptions.
Exceptions. The law does not cover:
• Individuals who, under the Rhode Island Minimum Wage Act, are not considered employees (e.g., outside salespersons, golf caddies, certain seasonal resort employees);
• Independent contractors;
• Federal work-study participants;
• Apprentices and interns; and
• Licensed nurses employed on a per diem basis by a healthcare facility.
Leave accrual. Leave begins to accrue at the beginning of employment or July 1, 2018, whichever is later.
Covered employees will accrue at least 1 hour of paid sick and safe leave time for every 35 hours of work, up to a maximum of 24 hours during the 2018 calendar year.
In 2019, employees may accrue up to 32 hours of leave.
In 2020 and thereafter, employees accrue up to 40 hours of leave.
Employers may provide more generous annual limits in both accrual and use. Additionally, employers may provide all paid sick leave an employee is expected to accrue at the beginning of the year.
Exempt employees accrue leave based on a 40-hour workweek (or, if fewer hours are worked, the normal workweek).
Employers may front-load all paid sick and safe leave time an employee is ...