Rhode Island Leave
Rather than create its own laws in regards to family and medical leave,
Rhode Island chose to use the federal act under the Family and Medical
Leave Act of 1993. This act allows employees to take up tot twelve
weeks of unpaid leave for medical or family purposes. The Family and
Medical Leave Act also guarantees that an individual will have his or
her former job when he or she returns to work.
An employer, however, has the right to hire a temporary employee for
these twelve weeks but is also required to terminate that employee when
the former employee returns. The Family and Medical Leave Act does not
protect an individual from being terminated due to other circumstances.
For instance if a company is having financial difficulties and needs to
terminate one or two employees, an employee on leave is not exempt from
this kind of termination.
The twelve weeks that an individual is allotted are given every year
and cannot be spread through out that year. If an employee wishes to
return to work earlier than the completion of the twelve weeks or to
work part-time for a month before the allotted time is completed, an
employer has the right to deny this request.
The Family and Medical Leave allows employees to take leave to care for
an ill child, to care for an elderly parent, to submit to
hospitalization, or to submit to any other necessary medical or
psychological purpose. Maternity leave falls under this category and
includes the care of a newborn and the bonding of adoptive parents with
new children. Some companies allow paternity leave.
In 2009 the federal minimum wage was increased to seven dollars and
twenty-five cents. This change required all states to meet or exceed
this minimum. The state of Rhode Island currently has a minimum wage of
seven dollars and forty cents. The minimum wage law states that no
employee is to be paid less than this amount.
Employees who obtain tips may legally be paid less than this minimum.
Rhode Island's tipped minimum wage currently stands at two dollars and
eighty-nine cents an hour. This is possible only when a tipped employee
receives more than thirty dollars in tips a month. The Department of
Labor requires employers to allow employees to keep all of their
acquired tips. No law exists, by Rhode Island or federal law, that
requires an employee to share his or her tips with a salary-paid
manager. When tips are pooled by several employees, the tips are to be
divided at the end of a shift.
Rhode Island does not have a law requiring employers to provide their
employees with holidays off or extra payment for working holidays.
There is also no federal law in regards to holidays. Federal holidays
are not designed for all United States employees. These holidays are
provided for government entities as well as the postal service.
Employers may provide payment for taking holidays off, extra payment
for working holidays, or holidays off in general, at their own