Rhode Island Workers' Compensation laws & safety compliance analysis

Rhode Island Workers' Compensation: What you need to know

Who Is Covered?

All Rhode Island employers must provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees, regardless of the number of workers or the type of work they do. This applies to all employees hired in the state of Rhode Island, including all employees injured in the state of Rhode Island, no matter where hired. All state employees are covered, as are employees of the city of Providence. Volunteer disaster response workers and members of the National Guard and Rhode Island State Guard are covered and are considered to be earning their regular civilian wages for benefit calculation purposes. General contractors who do not get written proof of workers' compensation insurance from their subcontractors are considered to be the employers of the subcontractor's workers. Employee leasing companies are considered employers and are responsible for providing coverage (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-33-1et seq.).

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A few categories of employment are exempt from mandatory coverage:

• Agricultural workers, working for small farmers

• Regularly organized police and fire department employees

• Casual employees

• Employees of municipalities (other than Providence) and school districts

• Domestic workers

• Licensed real estate brokers, salespeople, and appraisers who work on commission

• Voluntary or charitable workers

• Partners or sole proprietors

Employers that are not obligated to provide coverage may elect coverage, thereby gaining immunity from other legal actions. Employers desiring to elect coverage must file a notice to that effect with the director of workers' compensation. Individual employees have the right to elect not to be covered by sending a notice to the director.

Independent contractors. Independent contractors must ...

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