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Rhode Island Repeals Subminimum Wages for Employees With Disabilities

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On June 15, 2022, Rhode Island adopted House Bill (HB) 7511 and HB 2242. This legislation effectively repeals the state provision that allowed employers to pay subminimum wages to employees with disabilities. HB 7511 and HB 2242 became effective on the day they were adopted.

Rhode Island Minimum Wage Rates

The table below provides an overview of minimum wage requirements in Rhode Island. 

Effective dateOct. 1, 2020Jan. 1, 2022Jan. 1, 2023Jan. 1, 2024Jan. 1, 2025
State of Rhode Island$11.50$12.25$13$14$15
  • Students: Full-time students under 19 years of age working in nonprofit religious, educational, librarial or community service organizations may receive a minimum wage rate equal to 90% of the minimum wage rate.
  • Youth Wage: 14- and 15-year-olds who do not work more than 24 hours per week may receive a wage rate equal to 75% of the applicable minimum wage rate. Youth employees who work more than 24 hours per week must receive the minimum wage rate. 
  • Tipped Employees: As of Jan. 1, 2017, state law allows employers to pay their tipped employees a minimum wage rate that is $3.89 lower than the state’s minimum wage rate. The $3.89 credit applies to restaurants, hotels and other industries where tipped employees usually work (except taxicabs and limited public motor vehicles). However, if an employee’s tips and the cash wage do not equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.
  • Employees With Disabilities: Beginning June 15, 2022, Rhode Island employers will no longer be allowed to pay wages below the state minimum wage rate to individuals “whose earning capacity is impaired by physical or mental disability,” even when this practice is still allowed under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

For more information contact the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

Please Note: The state laws summaries featured on this site are for general informational purposes only. In addition to state law, certain municipalities may enact legislation that imposes different requirements. State and local laws change frequently and, as such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information featured in the State Laws section. For more detailed information regarding state or local laws, please contact your state labor department or the appropriate local government agency. 

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