Effective July 1, 2018, employers with 18 or more employees, whose primary worksites are located in Rhode Island, will be required to offer paid sick leave to their employees. Below is some important information on the upcoming act and how to set up a compliant paid sick leave policy inside OnPay.
Important Rhode Island Compliance Details
- An employee will earn 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked up to 24 hours in 2018, 32 hours in 2019 and 40 hours in subsequent years. Unused paid sick leave hours must be carried over to the following year.
- Employers do have the option to have their employees accrue the total sick time due to the employees at the beginning of the year. If employers choose this option, they are not required to track the accrual nor are they required to allow the unused paid sick leave to carry over to the next year.
- Employees must start accruing time upon their first day of work, or July 1, 2018, whichever is later. Employers are allowed to set a 90 day waiting period before newly hired employees can utilize their paid sick leave.
- If an employer is hiring seasonal employees, they will become eligible to utilize paid sick leave upon their 151st day of employment. If an employer is hiring a temporary employee (those working or, or obtaining employment per an agreement with, any employment agency, placement service, or training school or center), they will become eligible to utilize paid sick leave upon their 181st day of employment.
- Individuals not considered employees under the Rhode Island Minimum Wage Act (e.g., outside salespeople, golf caddies, certain seasonal resort employees)
- Independent contractors
- Federal work-study participants
- Licensed nurses employed by a healthcare facility on a per diem basis
Reasons Employees Can Use Sick Time
- Mental or physical illness, injury or health condition of an employee or covered relation
- Medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition of an employee or covered relation
- Preventive medical care for an employee or covered relation
- Leave related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking impacting an employee or covered relation
- Closure of the employee’s place of business, or a child’s school or place of care, by order of a public official due to a public health emergency
- Health authorities or a health care provider determines the employee or covered relation’s presence in the community may jeopardize other’s health because of the individual’s exposure to a communicable disease, whether or not the employee or covered relation has actually contracted the communicable disease.
Setting Up The Policy in OnPay
Calculation Information: You will notice that the three levels are different in the total amount of hours that the employees can hold at any time, this is due to the law increasing the amount the employees can hold over the next three years. The per hour accrual rate of 0.0286 is determined by dividing 1 hour worked by 35 hours.
The bottom number of levels 1, 2, and 3 is the balance cap and it will keep the employee from having a balance higher than 24 hours in the first year, 32 hours in the second year, and 40 hours in the third year going forward at any given time. Please keep in mind the balance cap will not stop the employee from accruing or using more than the hours listed in a given year. The amount used and accrued by the employee should be monitored by the employer.
In 2019, please move the hours in the first level to 32 and the hours in levels 2 and 3 to 40. And subsequently in 2020, please move the hours in all three levels to 40.