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Rhode Island Laws

Discover important state and local employment laws for Rhode Island.
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Published: Aug 15, 2023

Rhode Island Prohibits Nondisclosure Agreements

Rhode Island Prohibits Nondisclosure Agreements
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Update Effective: Immediately

On June 22, 2023, Governor Daniel McKee signed a bill into law which prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign nondisclosure or non-disparagement agreements regarding civil rights abuses as a condition of their employment. This new law safeguards an employee’s right to speak up about any potential civil rights violations or unlawful actions without fear of retaliation.

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Published: Jun 16, 2022

Rhode Island Cannabis Act Goes Into Effect

Rhode Island Cannabis Act Goes Into Effect
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Update Effective: May 25, 2022

Rhode Island became the latest state to legalize recreational marijuana use and possession for adults 21 years of age or older. While employers generally cannot take adverse action against an employee based on off-duty conduct, the law does not prevent employers from prohibiting possession during work hours or taking adverse action against employees for being impaired at work, so long as such policies are in writing and provided to current and prospective employees. The law allows some increased flexibility in regulating marijuana use for employees who perform work that is “hazardous, dangerous or essential to public welfare and safety”. Employers should consider their drug testing and hiring practices in light of this new law.

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Published: Sep 16, 2021

Upcoming protections against pay discrimination for Rhode Island employees

Upcoming protections against pay discrimination for Rhode Island employees
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Update Effective: January 1, 2023

Governor McKee has signed a new pay parity law prohibiting employers from paying any employee less than another employee of a different protected class (such as race, sex, religion, national origin, disability sexual orientation and gender identity among others) for comparable work. The new law also includes a salary history ban which prohibits employers from seeking applicants’ wage histories during the application process or using such information to make decisions.

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Published: Aug 11, 2021

Minimum Wage Increase in Rhode Island

Minimum Wage Increase in Rhode Island
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Update Effective: January 1, 2022 and annually

Rhode Island will increase the state minimum wage to $15/hour by 2025. The minimum wage will increase annually each January 1, beginning January 1, 2022 with an increase to $12.25/hour.

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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.
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