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Workplace act to affect Rhode Island jobs

Posted on September 7, 2018

A new workplace pact may affect many Rhode Island jobs.

The Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act took effect on July 1, 2018.

Under the law, Rhode Island employers with 18 or more employees will be required to offer paid sick and safe leave for employees to care for themselves, family members and/or members of their household. Employers with fewer than 18 employees must provide sick and safe leave time, although it does not need to be paid.

The sick and safe leave provisions allow covered employees to take up to 24 hours of leave in 2018, up to 32 hours in 2019, and up to 40 hours of paid leave thereafter. Earned sick and safe leave time will begin to accrue at the start of employment or July 1, 2018, whichever is later.

Sick and safe leave can be used for different reasons, including health care for mental or physical illness, injury or preventative care required by the employee, a relative or a member of the employee’s household. Additionally, the law allows employees to take time off when they or someone they are caring for experiences domestic violence, sexual abuse or stalking.

The DLT’s Labor Standards Unit is responsible for enforcement of the sick and safe leave regulations, and enforcement will begin when the law takes effect July 1st.

Until January 1, 2019, if the Department finds that an employer has mistakenly denied benefits, but has acted in good faith to comply with the law, the agency will ensure that impacted employees are appropriately compensated, and waive the administrative penalties, as long as corrective action is taken to prevent further issues.

Mystic River Press
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Cranston Herald
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Portsmouth Times
The Express