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Rhode Island Leave Law


In addition to rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) all employees in the state of Rhode Island are protected by a state version of the FMLA. The state version offers certain provisions that are more generous than the federal law. Below is a brief summary of the Rhode Island law.

If you are considering taking leave, consult with your Human Resource Office for additional details.


Who Is Eligible?

You are eligible if (1) you are a full-time employee who works an average of 30 or more hours per week, (2) you have been employed by the same employer for 12 consecutive months, and:

  • You are employed by a person, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or other business that employs 50 or more employees;
  • You are employed by the state of Rhode Island; or
    You are employed by any city, town, or municipal agency that employs 30 or more employees.

How Much Leave Will I Get?

Eligible employees are entitled to 13 consecutive work weeks of parental leave or family leave during any 2 calendar years.

What Are Legitimate Reasons For Leave?

Family leave may be taken due to the serious illness of a family member. Parental leave may be taken in connection with the birth of your child or the placement of an adopted child (16 years or younger) with you.

What Notice Is Required?

You must provide at least 30 days notice of the intended date upon which your leave shall begin and end, unless you are prevented from doing so because of a medical emergency.

Is A Doctor's Note Required?

Your employer may require that you provide a written certification from the physician caring for the person who is the reason for your leave. The certification must specify the probable duration of your leave.

Will My Job Be Protected While I Am On Leave?

Upon returning from leave, you are entitled to be restored to the position you held prior to leave, or to a position with equivalent seniority, status, employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment (including fringe benefits and service credits).

What Happens To My Benefits While I Am On Leave?

During parental or family leave, your employer must maintain your existing health benefits as if you were still working. However, prior to commencing leave, you must pay your employer an amount of money equal to the premium required to maintain your health benefits. Your employer must later return the payment to you within 10 days of your return to work.

For More Information

See: offsite link.

Researched and written by:

Lisa Gerson, Esq. McDermott Will & Emery LLP New York, NY 

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