Rhode Island sexual discrimination law in the workplace is outlined by the Rhode Island Fair Employment Practices Act. According to this law, an employer is anyone who employs four or more employees including the State of Rhode Island and any agents working for the employer either directly or indirectly. This differs from the federal law because Title VII applies only to those who have fifteen or more employees. Employees in Rhode Island are those who are employed by an employer as defined above except for those who are employed by their parents, spouse or child and those who are in the domestic service of their employer.
Rhode Island prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex when hiring, firing or determining job conditions, terms or compensation. The law also includes a prohibition of discrimination of the basis of pregnancy and its related conditions which need to be treated like any other temporary disability.
Any Rhode Island employee who feels that their civil rights have been violated can file a complaint with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights within one year of the alleged discriminatory act. You can file the complaint by calling the Commission or by filling out the Information Questionnaire online.
The Commission will then draft a formal complaint, send the complaint to your employer and then give him or her a chance to respond to the complaint. From there, an investigator will begin gathering information about your case and will use this information to decide if there is reasonable cause to believe that your rights have been violated.
If the investigator does find reasonable cause, you and your employer will enter a settlement phase. If you are unable to negotiate a settlement your case will go to public hearing.
If you decide, instead of the Rhode Island Commission’s investigative process, to go through the court process, that you want to take your case to the federal or state courts, you can request a “Right to Sue” letter from the EEOC or the Rhode Island Commission.
Employers and employees need to stay informed when it comes to sexual discrimination law in the workplace. Furthermore, employers should also keep a Rhode Island Complete Labor Law Poster posted in the workplace.
I found that Rhode Island has been protecting their employees and citizens since May of 1995. As such, employees are outlawed from discrimination in the workplace based on their sexual orientation, appearance or gender.
The anti-discrimination law is the specific law that covers all subjects related to Rhode Island Sexual Harassment. As such, not only are employees protected from discrimination in general, but from discrimination and sexual harassment. The state sees sexual harassment and discrimination as the same, if not very similar, items.
The anti-discrimination/sexual harassment laws apply to all employees of organizations that have more than four employees. However, it does not apply to the employment of persons by religious institutions when the employee is working directly with the institution.
However, it is important to note that if a person if employed by a parent, spouse or child, he or she cannot claim discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace. Additionally, domestic workers may not claim harassment. If the employee is a state employee, he or she certainly is covered under the Rhode Island law.
Rhode Island goes to great lengths to help identify exactly what constitutes sexual harassment. For example, they say that is an employee feels that he or she is being harassed, but cannot pinpoint the source of the harassment, he or she will need to try to get to the bottom of the cause. If an employer remarks about an employee’s sexual orientation, the employer is being harassing. If an employer treats an employee differently based on sexual orientation, then the employer is likewise being harassing and discriminatory.
The key in pinpointing sexual harassment is to look for repeated use of the same words and strategies. For example, an employer might have a pattern of discriminating or the employer might knowingly look over a particular employee for a position based on his knowledge of the employee’s sexual orientation.