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Rhode Island Overtime Laws

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the nation, but there are big job opportunities to be found here. One perk many of these jobs have in common is the right to earn overtime pay when working more than 40 hours a week. This benefit is often available to salaried as well as hourly employees, but there are limits to when overtime pay is available. If you work in Rhode Island, you should understand the basics of Rhode Island overtime law or risk being underpaid.

Rhode Island Overtime Law Summary

This chart highlights key provisions of Rhode Island overtime law.

State and Federal Statutes
Rhode Island Overtime Rules
  • State/federal overtime pay is 1.5 times an employee's regular rate
  • Overtime is calculated based on the number of hours worked on a weekly basis (not daily)
  • Sunday and holiday pay is 1.5 times an employee's regular rate, for eligible employees
  • Plant and flower nursery workers are exempt from overtime under the agriculture exception
  • Three-year statute of limitations for collecting unpaid overtime
Overtime Calculation Methods
  • Hourly: Pay 1.5 regular hourly rate over 40 hours work/week.
  • Hourly Plus Bonus and/or Commission: regular rate = Total hours times hourly rate, plus the workweek equivalent of the bonus and/or commission, divided by the total hours in the workweek; then pay half of that regular rate for each overtime hour.
  • Salary: Regular rate = Salary divided by the number of hours the salary is intended to compensate.
    • If the regular hours are less than 40: Add regular rate for each hour up to 40, then pay time and a half for hours over 40.
    • If the regular hours = 40: Pay time and a half for hours over 40.
File an Overtime Claim

Note: State laws are subject to change. It's important to verify the laws you read about by conducting your own research or consulting with a qualified Rhode Island employment attorney.

Rhode Island Overtime Laws

Rhode Island's overtime law covers most workers in the state. Much like federal law, the state requires an employer to pay 1.5 times an employee's regular pay rate for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Employees not covered by state law may receive overtime benefits under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Both state and federal laws recognize several types of employees that are exempt from overtime pay. Most common exemptions include computer employees, executives, managers whose primary job function is to supervise, administrators, commissioned salespeople, and learned professionals such as doctors and lawyers.

Overtime Pay for Holiday and Sunday Work

Under Rhode Island law, all employees who work during Sundays or holidays must be paid 1.5 times their regular rate and guaranteed at least four hours of employment. The decision to work a Sunday or holiday schedule must be strictly voluntary. If an employee refuses to work for any retail establishment on a Sunday or holiday, it is not a ground for discrimination, dismissal, discharge, or any other penalty. Employees exempt from state or federal overtime laws are also exempt from this provision. Certain retail employees, such as those in pharmacies and markets, are also exempt from the overtime benefits provided by this law.

What Is an Exempt Employee?

Overtime pay can make working long hours worthwhile. Unfortunately, not all employees are covered by the FLSA, so they are exempt from overtime pay. An "exempt employee" is one with specific job duties and salary level that meet the requirements set by the U.S. Department of Labor. A typical exempt employee is one who performs supervisory or executive duties and is paid on a salary of at least $455 per week (as of 2017).

Which Employers Must Pay Overtime?

Not all employers in the Ocean State are required to follow federal overtime law. The FLSA only covers employers engaged in the following activities:

  • Commerce or the production of goods for commerce, or that has employees handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods for commerce
  • Businesses and enterprises that generate an annual income of $500,000 or more
  • Operation of a hospital or institution primarily engaged in the care of the sick, aged, or mentally ill who reside on the premises, and private or public schools and institutions of higher education
  • Public agencies

Get Legal Help With Your Overtime Issue in Rhode Island

Rhode Island law ensures your right to earn overtime pay. Failure to pay overtime when it's due can be a state and federal labor violation. If you're experiencing an overtime issue at work, help is available. Contact a local employment attorney today to learn how Rhode Island overtime laws apply to you and advise you on your next steps to recover any unpaid overtime.

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