Rhode Island Salaried Employees Laws

May 7th 2024

Salaried employees are workers who receive a predetermined, fixed payment regularly. Rhode Island has specific rules to protect salaried employees and ensure fairness at work. Whether you are an employer or an employee, it is crucial to understand these laws.

This article outlines the relevant laws and regulations that define the rights of salaried employees and the obligations of employers in Rhode Island.

This article covers:

Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in Rhode Island

Rhode Island labor laws mandate employers to compensate employees weekly or semi-monthly with payroll schedules not exceeding two weeks. Payment methods include cash, checks, direct deposit, or payroll cards. Any changes to the payday schedule must be communicated to employees in advance, either through posting notices, or direct notification, with at least three paydays notice.

Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the eligibility for overtime payment depends on the exemption status of salaried employees, as defined by federal and state laws. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), salaried employees earning at least $684 weekly, and with managerial, administrative, or professional positions that entail discretion and decision-making do not qualify for overtime pay.

Non-exempt salaried employees are entitled to overtime compensation for hours worked beyond 40 in a single workweek.

Pay for Working Overtime for Rhode Island Salaried Employees

The FLSA defines one standard workweek as a consecutive seven-day period. If employees work any hours exceeding 40 in a week, they are considered overtime hours.

Overtime compensation is at a rate of one-and-a-half times the regular hourly rate for each additional hour worked. As the hourly regular minimum wage in Rhode Island is $14,00, the overtime minimum rate is $21.00 per hour.

Although such computations might appear complex, modern employers can simplify and streamline them using tools such as a timesheet app, monitoring time and attendance, or even employing overtime compliance software.

Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for Rhode Island Salaried Employees

Certain salaried employees are exempt from overtime pay. Generally, these laws apply to white-collared employees, such as administrators, executives, professionals, and outside salespeople earning at least $684 per week ($35,568 annually).

Exempt employees in Rhode Island must meet the minimum salary requirements and satisfy specific job duties to be classified as exempt from overtime pay requirements. Job duties may include:

  • Police officers
  • Salesperson
  • Employees in a seasonal summer camp that operates for only 6 months annually.
  • Employees under the United States Secretary of Transportation (drivers, helpers, mechanics, and loaders)
  • Employees in the agricultural sector
  • Employees under the Railway Labor Act

Learn more in detail about Rhode Island Overtime Laws.

Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, penalties for violations of salaried employees’ wage payments can vary depending on the specific circumstances and severity of the violation. Employers found guilty of withholding wages or failing to provide final paychecks as required may face penalties such as fines, administrative penalties, or legal judgments.

Male and Female Salaried Employees in Rhode Island

Rhode Island regulations state that both male and female employees are entitled to equal treatment and opportunities in the workplace, as mandated by state and federal laws prohibiting gender discrimination. This means that employers cannot hire, promote, or provide compensation differences based on an individual’s gender. Differences in compensation are only permissible when based on factors like:

  • Seniority
  • Merit
  • System measuring earnings by quantity or quality
  • Workplace location
  • Educational qualifications
  • Work experience

Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Rhode Island

Rhode Island mandates employers to offer a range of leave types to ensure employees have the necessary time off for different situations. This includes:

  • Sick Leave: Employers with over 18 employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually or accrue 1 hour for every 35 hours worked.
  • Family and Medical Leave: Regulated by the Family and Medical Leave Act, eligible employees can access up to 12 weeks of paid, job-protected leave for illness, childbirth, or family care, with extensions for military family support.
  • Holiday Leave: Employees working on Sundays or legal holidays are entitled to 1.5 times their regular pay, with the option to decline work without repercussions.
  • Jury Duty Leave: Employers must grant leave for jury duty without penalizing employees or requiring them to use paid leave.
  • Witness Leave: Employers must allow leave for court witness duty.
  • School Leave: Parents or guardians are entitled to 10 hours of leave annually for school-related activities, this is subject to employer approval.
  • Crime Victim Leave: Larger employers must provide paid or unpaid leave for crime-related proceedings, with the option for employees to use accrued leave.
  • Military Leave: Protected by federal law, employees serving in the military are entitled to reemployment rights and benefits upon return.
  • Military Family Leave: Spouses or children of military personnel called to service for at least 30 days may be eligible for unpaid leave, with varying durations based on employer size.

Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, employees are entitled to meal breaks based on the lengths of their work shifts. An employee is entitled to a 20-minute meal break for a six-hour shift and a 30-minute break for an eight-hour shift. Meal breaks are unpaid as employees are relieved from all their duties. However, if an employee decides to work through a meal break and can perform their job duties while on a meal break, they must be fairly compensated for that period.

Rest breaks are left to the discretion of employers, but federal law allows for 10-minute short breaks that should be paid. Minor employees receive the same meal break entitlements as adults, exceptions exist for minors in the entertainment and agriculture industries.

Breastfeeding breaks are available to employees needing to express breast milk unless it poses undue hardship to the employer. According to FLSA’s PUMP Act, breastfeeding mothers must have access to private, non-bathroom spaces with necessary facilities.

Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, deductions from salaried employees’ pay must comply with regulations to safeguard their earnings. Permissible deductions include:

  • Statutory withholdings (taxes and court-ordered payments)
  • Employee-authorized deductions (retirement contributions or insurance premiums)
  • Job-related deductions (uniform or tools)

Employers can only deduct from an employee’s salary if a written agreement is present. The federal FLSA restricts employers from making deductions that would reduce an employee’s pay below the minimum wage.

Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in Rhode Island

Termination of employment for salaried employees adheres to both federal and state laws. Rhode Island follows the “at-will” employment doctrine allowing employers to terminate employees at any time, for any reason or no reason at all. Despite the “employment-at-will” doctrine, employers must ensure that termination is not based on discrimination, retaliation, or breach of contract.

Employees in Rhode Island must receive their final paycheck, including all owed wages and benefits, on the next scheduled payday.

Learn more about Rhode Island Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.