Rhode Island is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason unless a collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, existing law, or recognized public policy provides otherwise.
Courts in Rhode Island generally reject implied contract claims based on employee handbooks.
The courts have held that employees cannot legitimately expect that a particular policy will always be followed and remain in effect when he or she has been notified that the policy is subject to unilateral change by the employer, for example, through a disclaimer in the handbook (Neri v. Ross-Simons, Inc., 897 A.2d 42 (2006)).
Nevertheless, employers in Rhode Island should remain vigilant to craft their employee handbooks in such a way as to protect themselves from ...