Recently, I’ve been researching the labor laws of various states. If Rhode Island is where you work, you might want to check out this overview of some of the labor laws that may apply to you:
Rhode Island is one of a number of states with a minimum wage significantly higher than the federal minimum wage. Employees in the state must currently be paid $7.10 per hour, and this will increase to $7.40 per hour after January 1st of 2007. Employees who receive tips may be paid $2.89 per hour, but their total hourly earnings including tips must meet or exceed the current minimum wage. Another exception to this law is 14 and 15 year old minors. If they work less than 24 hours per week, the Rhode Island labor laws state they may be paid 75% of the current minimum wage standard.
If you are an hourly employee, the Rhode Island labor laws state that you should be paid on a weekly basis. Employees of the state and employees of religious or charitable organizations are exempt from this rule. Salaried employees need only be paid on a regular basis. When an employee is separated from his or her job, he or she must be paid on the next regular payday. If the employee has worked for the company at least a year or more and has accrued vacation time, this must also be paid out on the last paycheck.
Rhode Island labor laws guarantee that employees may not be forced to join a union, nor may they be denied employment based on their membership or non-membership in a union. In general, there may be no discrimination of any kind based on union or non-union status. There are also laws on the books related to collective bargaining and other aspects of labor disputes.
Child labor laws are another interesting section of the Rhode Island labor laws. Minors ages 14 and 15 who wish to work in the state must get a work permit, while 16 and 17 year old minors only need a “proof of age” certificate. The Rhode Island laws also regulate the hours that minors of various ages may work, and prohibit them from engaging in certain dangerous occupations.
These are just a few examples of the many regulations found in the Rhode Island labor laws. For a more thorough listing, please see the Rhode Island Complete Labor Law Poster. This poster contains the relevant Federal labor laws as well.
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