Rhode Island Law Prohibits Certain Wage Deductions Without Employee Approval

Approval May Be Written or Electronic

Under a new law in Rhode Island, an employer may not deduct or withhold any monies not authorized by federal or state law or by court order from an employee’s wages, without first getting written or electronic approval from the employee.

Permissible Deductions
State law permits employers to make certain deductions from employee wages, including (among other things):

  • Trade union or craft dues or other obligations imposed by a collective bargaining contract;
  • Contributions to a pension plan in which the employee is a participant not required by a collective bargaining agreement entered into between the authorized collective bargaining representative of an employee and his or her employer;
  • Contributions to or for insurance or under an insurance plan for accident, health, or life coverage not required by a collective bargaining agreement entered into between the authorized collective bargaining representative of an employee and his or her employer; or
  • Amounts to be credited to a share, deposit, or loan account in any credit union.

The deductions listed above must be made in accordance with awritten request by the individual employee (see § 28-14-10).

Note: Guidance regarding certain deductions from wages under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is also available, along with specific guidance on exempt employees. Remember that when state laws differ from the federal FLSA, an employer must comply with the standard most protective to employees (that is, the one that provides the greater benefit to employees).

New Law
Under the new law, an employer may not deduct or withhold any monies not authorized by federal or state law or by court order from an employee’s wages, without first getting written or electronic approval from the employee.

The law is effective as of July 20, 2016. Click here to read the text of the law.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

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