Fair Employment Practices
260-RICR-30-05-8 ACTIVE RULE
R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-6-23 authorizes the Director of the Department of Labor and Training to ensure compliance with §§ 17-24 of R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 28-6. The Department is authorized to promulgate guidance related to compliance with the provisions of these statutes, investigate any violations, institute actions for the collection of wages and for penalties or other relief as provided for within and pursuant to those Chapters.
The definitions set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-6-17 are hereby incorporated by reference.
8.3Wage Differential for Comparable Work Based on Protected Class Characteristics Prohibited
A.Where an employer has more than one (1) employee engaged in comparable work either simultaneously or successively, the employer shall not pay any of its employees a lower wage, inclusive of all benefits, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, or country of ancestral origin for said comparable work, except where the employer meets the standards set forth in subsection (b) of R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-6-18.
B.Where an employee does not have a contemporaneous co-worker engaged in comparable work, but the employer previously employed one (1) or more other individuals to perform comparable work, the employee may make reference to the wages of the predecessor individual(s) as comparator for determining whether a pay differential exists.
C.Compensation unrelated to the performance of an employee’s job functions, such as referral bonuses or relocation compensation, are not included in assessing pay differentials, provided this compensation is incidental to the employee’s primary job functions and is not a pretext for an unlawful wage differential; incentive compensation, such as recruitment, hiring or sign-on bonuses, and subjective compensation, such as gifts or holiday bonuses, are to be included in assessing pay differentials.
8.4Posting of Rights
The Department of Labor and Training shall make available on its website, free of charge, printable materials that clearly state the rights and responsibilities afforded to and conferred upon employers, employees, and job applicants by §§ 17-24 of R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 28-6.
In carrying out the functions assigned by R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-6-19, the Department of Labor and Training shall apply the investigatory, enforcement, and hearing procedures set forth in Part of this Title.
A.Employers are prohibited from taking adverse action, including but not limited to termination, refusal to hire, demotion, or reduction or withholding of pay, against any employee or job applicant on the basis of the employee’s or applicant’s exercise of any right conferred in R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 28-6-24 through 28-6-24, including the filing of, or providing testimony or other support for, a claim of a violation of the provisions of these Sections; requesting a wage range for a position; inquiring about wages or discussing wages with others; encouraging discussion of wages; or refusing to provide a wage history.
B.Where an individual believes that such retaliation has occurred, the individual shall have the same recourse as provided in § 8.5 above.
8.7Stay on Penalties
The Department of Labor and Training shall not impose a civil penalty under R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-6-21 for any violation identified by the Department of Labor and Training or complained of to the Department prior to January 1, 2025.
8.8Wage History, Ranges, and Discussion
A.An employer may not inquire about a job applicant’s current or prior wage or salary, prompt a job applicant to provide current or prior wage or salary, or intentionally attempt to obtain information regarding the current or prior wage or salary of a job applicant.
B.Where an employer does have information related to a job applicant’s current or prior wage or salary, the employer may not rely on this information in making a hiring determination or setting wages to be paid upon hire.
C.An employer may not set a minimum or maximum prior wage or salary threshold for a job applicant as a condition of hire.
D.Where a job applicant, voluntarily and without prompting, provides information about current or prior wages or salary, an employer may rely on this information to proffer a higher wage rate than initially contemplated and, in so doing, may seek confirmation of the wage information; provided, however, that if offering a higher wage, an unlawful wage differential for comparable work based on one (1) of the factors listed in § 8.3 of this Part is not created.
A.At the time of hire, an employer must provide to the individual being hired the range of wages paid for the position into which the individual is hired.
B.At the time of transfer to a new position within the employing entity, an employer must provide to the transferring employee the range of wages paid for the position into which the individual is transferred.
C.At the request of an applicant or employee, an employer must disclose, at the time of application and/or hire or internal move to a new position, and at any time during employment, the wage range for the position of application or employment of the requesting individual.
D.In providing this range by reference to a pay scale, previously determined range of wages for the position, or the actual range of wages for those currently holding equivalent positions, the employer must provide the inquiring individual with at least the minimum and maximum wages of the scale or range; where an employer provides this range by reference to an amount budgeted for a position, the employer must disclose the total amount budgeted.
E.Where a wage range is not provided upon request, the aggrieved employee or applicant shall have the same recourse as provided for in § 8.5 of this Part.
A.An employer may not prohibit an employee from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing their wages or those of another employee, or prohibit an employee from aiding or encouraging any other employee to do the same
B.Where an employee believes that such prohibition has occurred, the aggrieved employee shall have the same recourse as provided for in § 8.5 of this Part.
A.Any party who is aggrieved by a final decision of the Department of Labor and Training is entitled to a trial de novo in Superior Court in the county having jurisdiction.
B.Proceedings shall be commenced by the aggrieved party by filing a complaint in the superior court within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the final agency decision.
C.During the pendency of the appeal, the final decision of the Department of Labor and Training shall be stayed and deemed not a final decision.
A.The Department of Labor and Training shall issue and make available on its website, free of charge, a form for use by employers who wish to conduct a self-evaluation for the purposes of attempting to establish an affirmative defense to liability or reduction of liability as contemplated in R. I. Gen. Laws § 28-6-24.
B.Employers shall not be required to use this form and may elect to use a format of their own choosing or design.
C.Use of the form made available by the Department of Labor and Training shall not be dispositive evidence of the due diligence or efficacy of the self-evaluation and use of a form other than that made available by the Department of Labor and Training shall not be evidence of a lack of due diligence or efficacy.
|Title||260||Department of Labor and Training|
|Chapter||30||Workforce Regulation and Safety|
|Part||8||Fair Employment Practices|
|Type of Filing||Adoption|
R.I. Gen. Laws § R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-6-23
Purpose and Reason:
R.I. Gen. Laws Section 28-6-23 charges the Department with the coordination of implementation and enforcement of the Act and calls on it to promulgate regulations or guidance in furtherance of this charge. The Act is intended to combat wage discrimination based on race or color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, or country of ancestral origin by strengthening and closing gaps in existing wage discrimination laws.