Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Rhode Island Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law

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PNN: RI Paid Sick Leave

Recently, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act (Act) [H.B. 5413, L. 2017]. The law requires employers to provide certain employees with paid sick leave (PSL), effective July 1, 2018. Currently, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have laws requiring certain employers to provide PSL, along with several cities and counties. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) is tasked with enforcing the new PSL requirements.

PSL Accrual
The Act will require employers with 18 or more employees to provide certain employees with one hour of PSL for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 24 hours during calendar year 2018, 32 hours during calendar year 2019, and 40 hours every year thereafter. Accrual begins on an employee’s first day of employment or on the law’s effective date (July 1, 2018), whichever is later. Employers can require newly hired employees to wait 90 days before using accrued PSL. Accrued paid sick days will carry over to the following year of employment, however, an employee may only use up to 24 hours in 2018, up to 32 hours in 2019, and up to 40 hours every year thereafter.

An employer that already has an equivalent PSL program or paid time off (PTO) policy in place does not have to provide additional PSL under the law, so long as the leave can be used for the same purposes and in a manner consistent with the Act.

Notice and Posting Requirements
Every employer subject to the Act must keep a summary of it, approved by the DLT, and copies of any applicable wage orders and regulations issued under the Act, posted in a visible and accessible place in or about the premises where any person subject to them is employed.

Pay News Now will continue monitoring states that enact paid sick leave laws.