When you hire employees working in Rhode Island, it is important to ensure that your employee handbook aligns with both federal and state employment law. While employers aren’t required to create and distribute employee handbooks, they are required to implement and comply with a variety of policies in the workplace. Employers who choose to create and distribute employee handbooks must ensure that they fulfill all Rhode Island employee handbook requirements.
Employee handbooks are an effective way to introduce employees to the organization, establish expectations, explain essential policies and procedures, and minimize legal risk. However, non-compliance with state and federal laws in your handbook could expose your company to significant liability.
To streamline the process and meet the specific requirements of each state, SixFifty has developed Employment Docs. This tool assists employers in drafting personalized, state-specific employee handbooks and other employment documents for all 50 states.
Here’s what you need to know about Rhode Island employee handbook requirements, and how Employment Docs can help you save time and money.
Required Rhode Island employee handbook policies
Rhode Island requires employers to implement and comply with eleven state-specific policies:
- Crime Victim Leave Policy (for companies with 50 or more employees)
- Day of Rest Policy
- FMLA Policy (for companies with 50 or more employees)
- Jury Duty Leave Policy
- Meal and Rest Breaks Policy
- Paid Sick Leave Policy (for companies with 18 or more employees)
- Pay Transparency Policy
- Pregnancy Leave Policy
- School Involvement Leave Policy
- Sexual Harassment Policy
- Whistleblower Policy
Keep in mind that three of these policies are only required for employers who meet a set employee threshold. If you’re approaching either threshold, it’s best to include the policies now rather than having to update your employee handbook later.
Optional Rhode Island employee handbook policies
In addition to the eleven required policies, employers are free to add optional employee handbook policies like these:
- Affinity Group Policy
- Arbitration Policy
- At-Will Employment Policy
- Background Check Policy
- Business Expense Policy
- Company Property Policy
- Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
- Desk Hoteling Policy
- Direct Deposit Policy
- Dress Code Policy
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
- Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
- Employee Benefits Policy
- Employee Classification Policy
- Employee Dating Policy
- Employee References Policy
- Employment of Relatives Policy
- Exit Interview Policy
- Gifts Policy
- Health and Safety Policy
- Holidays Policy
- Lactation Accommodation Policy
- Leave Policies, including: Bereavement Leave; Organ, Bone Marrow, and Blood Donor Leave; Domestic Violence Leave; Voting Leave; Witness Duty Leave; Civil Service Leave
- Immigration Law Compliance Policy
- Marijuana Policy
- Off-Duty Use of Facilities Policy
- Outside Employment Policy
- Overtime Policy
- Payment of Wages Policy
- Payroll Deductions Policy
- Performance Review Policy
- Personnel Files Policy
- Pets in the Workplace Policy
- Progressive Discipline Policy
- Public Relations Policy
- Punctuality and Attendance Policy
- Salary Pay Policy
- Social Media Policy
- Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
- Technology Systems Policy
- Telecommuting Policy
- Temporary Relocation Policy
- Timekeeping Policy
- Vacation/Paid Time Off Policy
- Video Conferencing Policy
- Workers’ Compensation Policy
- Workplace Violence Policy
- Workplace Visitor Policy
- Workweek and Work Schedules Policy
Depending on your industry and company type, among other factors, you may not want or need to include these optional policies.
Required federal employee handbook policies
If you choose to create an employee handbook, you should include these policies that are required by federal employment law:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy
- Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (for companies with more than 50 employees)
- Jury Duty Leave
- Military Service Leave
- Sexual Harassment Policy
- Lactation Accommodation Policy
- Religious Accommodation Policy
Employers in all 50 states are required to implement these policies, in addition to any that are required by the specific state(s) in which they have employees. Therefore, all of your employee handbooks should contain these federal policies (if your organization meets the 50-employee requirement for the FMLA Policy).
How to create a Rhode Island employee handbook
Crafting a compliant Rhode Island employee handbook can be a time-consuming and costly process, even when you only include the required state and federal policies. Inadvertent violations of these laws may lead to legal liability for your organization.
Some companies opt to hire attorneys to research and draft their handbooks, which is a safe choice. However, when hiring in multiple states, billable hours can rapidly add up. Similarly, using one-size-fits-all templates to save costs does not ensure inclusion of all necessary policies and required language.
Fortunately, SixFifty provides a better choice. Instead of starting from scratch, relying on templates, or engaging attorneys, we’ve streamlined the process for you. Employment Docs expertly guides employers through the entire employment life cycle, starting with offer letters and employee handbooks and concluding with separation and offboarding. Moreover, our legal team monitors changes to employment legislation nationwide. Should any changes arise, we will notify you, allowing you to update and distribute your handbooks accordingly. This approach offers the easiest and most cost-effective way to create a handbook that fully complies with all federal and Rhode Island employee handbook requirements.
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