November 9, 2017

Rhode Island Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act

Background on Act:

This act requires employers with 18 or more employees in Rhode Island to provide their employees with one hour of paid sick and safe leave time for every 35 hours worked up to a maximum of:

  • 24 hours during the calendar year of 2018;
  • 32 hours during calendar year 2019; and
  • 40 hours during calendar year 2020 and every year after

Employers with fewer than 18 employees must provide employees with three days of unpaid leave per year.


  • Most employers in the state are covered, with exception of the federal government:
  • The law generally covers all employees, except: •individuals not considered employees under the Rhode Island Minimum Wage Act;
    • independent contractors;
    • subcontractors;
    • federal work-study participants; and
    • licensed nurses employed by a health care facility on a per diem basis

Interaction with Existing Employer Policies:

  • If an employer has a paid leave policy (PTO, vacation, etc.) that provides the amount of annual paid leave hours the law requires, or offers unlimited paid leave, it is exempt from the law's accrual, carryover, and use requirements even if an employee uses his or her paid leave for non-sick-leave purposes.

Employers must identify an employee by a preferred gender, name, and/or pronoun, including gender-neutral pronouns, if asked to do so by the employee unless the employer is legally obligated to use an employee’s gender or legal name as indicated in a government-issued document. Unless there is a qualified business reason, employers may not ask about an applicant’s sex, including gender, gender identity, or gender expression; and/or pronouns.

For more information please reference:

For more information visit these websites:

An Act Relating to Labor and Labor Relations – Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act (SB 290) Rhode Island Minimum Wage and Leave Act Poster

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