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Legally Required Benefits: Rhode Island

Legally Required Benefits requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Robbie McKeon


  • Unemployment insurance is a joint federal/state program offered nationwide. Based on federal law and executed through state law, the program provides partial wage replacement to unemployed workers while they conduct an active search for work. See Rhode Island Unemployment Insurance Program.
  • Rhode Island unemployment insurance is provided under the Rhode Island Employment Security Act. Most employers in Rhode Island are subject to this law. See Rhode Island Unemployment Insurance Program.
  • Unemployment benefits generally last for up to 26 weeks. See Benefits.
  • Unemployed individuals must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits. See Eligibility.
  • Employers must follow specified recordkeeping and posting requirements. See Recordkeeping; Posting.
  • Rhode Island offers WorkShare, a voluntary program to help employers retain a group of employees who would otherwise have to be laid off. Under the program, employees' hours and wages are reduced and employees receive a WorkShare benefit to help make up the shortfall. See Rhode Island WorkShare Program.