Payment of Wages: Rhode Island
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: William E. O'Gara, Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O'Gara LLC
- The term wages is broadly defined in the Rhode Island wage payment law. See Definition of Wages.
- Employers may pay wages in cash, or by check, direct deposit or electronic paycard if certain conditions are met. Penalties are imposed for violations. See Wage Payment Methods.
- In Rhode Island, employees must be paid weekly, unless their compensation is fixed at a biweekly, semimonthly, monthly, or yearly rate. Certain employers may petition the Department of Labor and Training to allow less frequent wage payments. Paydays must occur within nine days after the end of each pay period. Penalties are imposed for violations. See Pay Frequency.
- With employees' authorization, Rhode Island law allows employers to make various deductions from employees' pay. Certain deductions are prohibited. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
- Employers must provide each employee with a pay statement including specific information with every payment of wages. Employers may provide all pay statements and records to employees electronically; employees may request free paper copies, however. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Pay Statement Requirements.
- Terminated employees must be paid their final wages within a certain time period. Certain employees are also entitled to severance pay. Additional rules apply to payout of accrued but unused vacation and paid sick and sick leave. Employers that violate the law are subject to penalties. See Termination Pay.
- After the death of an employee, employers must follow a specific set of rules in order to properly turn over any compensation owed to the deceased employee's estate or survivors. See Deceased Employee Wages.
- Wages that are unclaimed wages for one year are considered abandoned property. Employers must notify employees and file an annual report of unclaimed wages with the state. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Unclaimed Wages.