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Employers: Do You Know? The Not-So-Basic Basics of Labor & Employment Law

Latino-owned businesses have increased exponentially in Rhode Island in the last 20 years.  Here at AP&S, we think it’s time to acknowledge this positive economic growth.  So, here are some basic employment law pointers for all Rhode Island businesses, including Hispanic-owned businesses, set forth in both Spanish and English:

Hiring – On your employment application, you may not ask if a candidate has been arrested, accused of a crime or convicted.

Hours Worked – All hours worked have to be documented; all hours documented have to be paid for.  In the private sector, you cannot pay with “time off.”

Meal Breaks – If an employee has worked 6 hours, the employee gets a meal break of 20 minutes; if the employee has worked 8 hours, the break is 30 minutes.  (But if the employee does work during the break time, then the employee must be paid.)

Overtime – All hours over 40 have to be paid for at time and one-half.  (You do not have to pay time and one-half for more than 8 hours worked in a day; time and one-half starts only after 40 hours worked in a workweek.)  Also, in some industries, employees must be paid time and one-half for hours worked on Sundays.

Termination of Employment – When employment ends, the employer must pay all wages owed and vacation time accrued by the next regular pay day.  And it is never okay to set off amounts that may be owed back to the employer against wages due! 

These statements are general in character and can depend upon the size of the employer and other factors.  Please consult with an attorney about your own business and the federal and state laws that apply. 


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Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C.

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