Rhode Island Violence in the Workplace laws & safety compliance analysis

Rhode Island Violence in the Workplace: What you need to know

Workplace Violence Prohibited

The Rhode Island Workplace Violence Prevention Act provides that if an employer or his or her employees or invitees have (1) suffered unlawful violence by a person, (2) received a threat of violence that can reasonably be construed as a threat that may be carried out at the workplace, or (3) been stalked or harassed at the workplace, the employer may (in addition to, or instead of, filing criminal charges against the person) seek a temporary restraining order or an injunction prohibiting further unlawful acts by that person at the workplace, which will include any place at which work is being performed on behalf of the employer.

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All orders and injunctions issued under this law have statewide validity, unless otherwise noted by the issuing judge, and may be enforced by the court for any violation anywhere in the state.

An employer and an employer's agents acting in accord with this law will be presumed to be acting in good faith and, unless otherwise determined, are immune from civil liability for actions taken under the law.

Any employer, employee, or invitee who chooses not to use the procedures authorized by the law will not be liable for negligence (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-52-1 et seq.).

Leave for Crime Victims

Employers with 50 or more employees must allow an employee who is a victim of a crime to leave work to attend court proceedings related to the crime. Before the employee takes such leave, the employee may be required to provide the employer with a copy of notification of the court proceeding (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 12-28-13).

The leave is not required to be paid, but the employee may elect to use or an employer may require the employee to use the employee's accrued paid vacation, personal ...

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