Disabilities (ADA): Rhode Island

This item is part of Disabilities (ADA).

The below content should be reviewed in conjunction with the in-depth federal coverage of this topic provided above.

Author: Patrick F. Martin, Littler Mendelson, PC


  • In addition to the federal equal opportunity laws, Rhode Island employers must comply with a number of state antidiscrimination laws, including the Rhode Island Civil Rights Act, the Rhode Island Fair Employment Practices Act, and the Rhode Island Civil Rights of People with Disabilities Act. See Disability Discrimination in Rhode Island
  • Although Rhode Island has three laws protecting individuals with disabilities against discrimination, these laws and the developed case law are substantially similar to the federal disability discrimination standards and precedents. See Rhode Island Disability Laws, Cumulatively.
  • Rhode Island employers should check with their local governments and/or employment counsel to identify any local antidiscrimination laws that may apply to it. See Local Ordinances.
  • Rhode Island specifically prohibits the use of genetic testing as a condition of employment. See Genetic Testing.
  • The Rhode Island Prevention and Suppression of Contagious Diseases Act states that no person, agency, organization or legal entity may discriminate against an individual in employment on the basis of a positive HIV test. See AIDS and HIV Testing.
  • Rhode Island permits the use of medical marijuana. See Rhode Island Medical Marijuana.