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Reminder: RI Earned Paid Sick Leave Law Effective July 1

Requirements Apply to All Employers

Effective July 1, Rhode Island employers generally must provide paid or unpaid earned sick leave to each employee, depending on employer size. The following chart summarizes the law and its requirements.

Which Employees and Employers Are Covered? All employers and paid employees.
Must an Employer Compensate Sick Leave? Yes. Employers with 18 or more employees must provide paid sick leave, while employers with fewer than 18 employees may provide unpaid sick leave.
How Much Sick Leave May an Employee Accrue and Use?
  • 24 hours in 2018
  • 32 hours in 2019
  • 40 hours in 2020
How Does an Employee Accrue Sick Leave? For every 35 hours worked or paid, employees generally accrue 1 hour of sick leave.
When Can Employees Begin Accruing and Using Sick Leave? Immediately. However, an employer may impose a 90-day waiting period on newly hired employees if they are notified of it in writing upon hire.
Which Life Events Qualify for Sick Leave?
  • Mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition.
  • A need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition.
  • A need for preventive medical care.
  • A need to care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition.

Additional requirements and exceptions apply. Click here to read the law and its regulations.

Please visit our Rhode Island Earned Paid Sick Leave page for more information.