Rhode Island Payroll Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

What do you know about Rhode Island payroll laws?

Straight off the bat, here are a few key points:

Both employees and employers need to learn about the detailed rules of payroll and work laws in Rhode Island. Even though this means taking in a lot of information, it’s necessary to make sure they follow these important rules properly.

Without wasting any time, let’s dive in.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Rhode Island payroll laws.

Rhode Island Labor Laws

The state of Rhode Island has various labor laws in place to ensure that employees receive fair treatment and compensation.

These laws encompass a range of topics, including minimum wage, overtime pay, meal breaks, and record-keeping.

Rhode Island Minimum Wage

As of the time of writing, the Rhode Island minimum wage is $14.00 per hour.

This rate is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Employers in Rhode Island must pay their employees at least the state minimum wage unless exemptions apply.

Overtime Pay in Rhode Island

Rhode Island labor laws require employers to pay non-exempt employees overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

Overtime pay is calculated at one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Meal Breaks & Meal Periods in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, employees who work an eight-hour shift are entitled to a 30-minute meal break.

If an employee works a six-hour shift, they are entitled to a 20-minute meal break.

These meal breaks must be provided within the first six hours of the employee’s shift.

Pay Periods & Final Paychecks in Rhode Island

Pay Periods

Rhode Island does not specifically require weekly payroll.

Employers may establish pay periods as weekly, biweekly, or semi-monthly.

Employers must pay employees within nine days of the end of the pay period.

Final Paychecks

Rhode Island is considered a “final pay state.” Employers must provide terminated employees with their final paycheck, including all unpaid wages, by the next regular payday.

Payment must be made at the usual place of payment or mailed to the employee if requested.

Labor Law Exemptions & Special Provisions


Rhode Island labor laws provide exemptions for specific categories of employees.

Some exempt employees include certain agricultural workers, independent contractors, and outside salespersons.

These exempt employees may not be subject to minimum wage, overtime, or meal break requirements.

Child Labor Laws in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has specific child labor laws in place to protect minors under the age of 18.

These laws regulate the number of hours that minors can work, the type of work they can perform, and the required work permits.

During school vacations, minors are allowed to work up to 48 hours per week.

Record-Keeping & Reporting Requirements

Rhode Island employers must maintain accurate records of employee hours worked, wages paid, and other relevant information.

This record-keeping is essential for ensuring compliance with federal and state labor laws.

Employers must keep these records for at least three years.

Time Off, Leave, & Benefits

Sick Leave

Rhode Island law requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees.

Employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per calendar year.

Employees can use sick leave for their own illness or to care for a family member.

Family Medical Leave

In addition to federal law, Rhode Island has its own Family Medical Leave Act (RIFMLA) that provides eligible employees with up to 13 weeks of unpaid leave during any two-calendar-year period.

This leave can be used for the birth or adoption of a child, the serious illness of a family member, or the employee’s own serious health condition.

Safe Leave

Rhode Island’s Safe Leave Act allows employees to take up to five days of unpaid leave per calendar year to address issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

This leave can be used for seeking medical or legal assistance, finding safe housing, or attending court proceedings.

Jury Duty

Employers in Rhode Island must provide time off for employees who are called to serve on a jury.

Employers cannot penalize employees for fulfilling their civic duty, and employees must be allowed to return to their job after completing jury service.

Workers’ Compensation & Unemployment Insurance

Rhode Island employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.

This insurance provides benefits for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses.

Rhode Island employers must pay unemployment insurance taxes to provide temporary financial assistance to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

Rhode Island Payroll Laws (Closing Thoughts)

We want this article to help you learn the basics of payroll and work laws in Rhode Island.

Whether you’re a boss or a worker, it’s important to know these laws to avoid problems at work.

This knowledge is key to understanding how jobs in Rhode Island are regulated.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of Rhode Island labor laws but does not constitute legal advice.

Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations.

Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Rhode Island, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation.

By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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