FINAL SICK TIME BILL PASSES GENERAL ASSEMBLY – EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2018
The Rhode Island General Assembly passed a final sick time bill, to be effective July 1, 2018. It is expected that Governor Raimondo will sign the bill into law.
Back in February 2017, legislators proposed a bill that would require employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. Prior to its summer recess, the House and Senate passed different versions of the bill. When the General Assembly reconvened on September 19th, it passed a final sick time bill.
The key provisions of the final bill are:
- Employees must accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 24 hours in 2018. This will increase to a maximum of 32 hours in 2019, and 40 hours in 2020 and thereafter.
- Small employers with 17 or less employees must offer the same amount of sick time, but it may be unpaid.
- Accrual must begin at the commencement of employment (starting on July 1, 2018), although an employer may require a waiting period for newly hired employees of up to 90 days when sick time may not be used.
- Accrued, unused sick leave must be carried over to the following calendar year, but total accrual may be capped at 32 hours in 2019 and 40 hours thereafter. Alternatively, employers may pay out accrued, unused sick time at year end.
- Payout of accrued, unused sick leave is not required upon termination of employment.
- Documentation supporting the need for time off may only be required for leaves of more than 3 consecutive work days.
- There are special accrual rules for temporary employees and seasonal employees.
- Federal, municipal and state employees are excluded from the bill, as are certain per diem nursing employees.
Employers who already offer employees paid time off that may be used for sick leave purposes (whether it’s called vacation, personal, PTO leave, etc.), and which meets the minimum accrual and carry-over requirements, are already in compliance with the new sick time bill.
To discuss how this impacts your business, call us at 401-270-4500.