Rhode Island Sick Leave laws & HR compliance analysis

Rhode Island Sick Leave: What you need to know

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;
• Subcontractors;
• Federal work-study participants;
• Apprentices and interns; and
• Licensed nurses employed on a per diem basis by a healthcare facility.
NOTE: On July 7, 2021, Governor Daniel McKee signed into law legislation that requires employees in the construction industry to have access to paid sick and safe leave benefits.
Specifically, as of July 7, the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act requires paid sick and safe leave benefits to be paid out to employees in the construction industry employed under a multi-employer collective bargaining agreement. All sick and safe leave time is paid into a central trust which then pays out the earned sick and safe time to workers.
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 ...

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