Rhode Island Earned Paid Sick Leave Law Effective July 1

Effective July 1, Rhode Island employers generally must provide paid or unpaid earned sick leave to each employee, depending on employer size. The following chart summarizes the law and its requirements.

Which Employees and Employers Are Covered? All employers and paid employees.
Must an Employer Compensate Sick Leave? Yes. Employers with 18 or more employees must provide paid sick leave, while employers with fewer than 18 employees may provide unpaid sick leave.
How Much Sick Leave May an Employee Accrue and Use?
  • 24 hours in 2018
  • 32 hours in 2019
  • 40 hours in 2020
How Does an Employee Accrue Sick Leave? For every 35 hours worked or paid, employees generally accrue 1 hour of sick leave.
When Can Employees Begin Accruing and Using Sick Leave? Immediately. However, an employer may impose a 90-day waiting period on newly hired employees if they are notified of it in writing upon hire.
Which Life Events Qualify for Sick Leave?
  • Mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition.
  • A need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition.
  • A need for preventive medical care.
  • A need to care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition.

Additional requirements and exceptions applyClick here to read the law and its regulations.

With regards to posting requirements, the poster associated with this law is called the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act which has already been included in our Rhode Island and Federal Combination Poster as of April 2, 2018.

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

Rhode Island: Mandated Short Term Disability Rates Increase

Weekly Maximum and Minimum Benefit Rates Increase

Rhode Island has announced that its weekly maximum and minimum short term disability rates have increased.

Background
Rhode Island’s temporary disability insurance program provides income support to individuals who are out of work because of a non-work related illness or injury. To be eligible, an individual must meet certain earnings requirements and be medically certified by a qualified health care provider as unable to work.

An individual’s weekly benefit rate will be equal to 4.62% of the wages paid in the highest quarter of his or her base period.

Updated Rates
For claims with a “Benefit Year Begin Date” of July 3, 2016 or later,$89.00 is the minimum benefit rate and $817.00 is the maximum benefit rate. This does not include dependency allowance. The weekly benefit rate remains the same throughout the entire benefit year.

Click here for more information on Rhode Island’s temporary disability program.

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.