Testimony in Support of HB7319, HB7650, HB7789, HB7790 Bills to Improve Working Conditions and Worker Supports

Last updated: March 07, 2024

Testimony in Support of HB7319, HB7650, HB7789, HB7790
Bills to Improve Working Conditions and Worker Supports
House Committee on Labor
March 6, 2024
Kavya Gopinath, Policy Analyst, Economic Progress Institute

The Economic Progress Institute supports the following bills:

1. Representative Karen Alzate’s HB7319, which mandates that the work week be reduced to thirty-two hours and a rate of pay for a thirty-two workweek would remain the same as the rate of pay for forty hours. A thirty-two hour workweek can boost productivity, improve attendance, and decrease turnover.

2. Representative David Morales’ HB7650, which directs employers to take certain actions to protect their employees who are exposed to extreme hot and cold temperatures, and failure to do so would be an unlawful employment practice. Rhode Islanders deserve to work under conditions that do not needlessly jeopardize their health and well being, and employers should have an obligation to provide all relevant saftey measures.

3. Representative Enrique Sanchez’s HB7789, which requires all health care workers who are employed on any Sunday or holiday to be compensated at the rate of time and one-half. As we see many healthcare providers leaving the industry and experience workforce shortages in the care economy, we need to stabilize the workforce and compensate our most essential workers fairly.

4. Representative Joshua Giraldo’s HB7790, which requires employers to furnish items and conditions of employment and a pay stub explaining how wages were calculated/reasons for deductions and allows the employee to file a court action against their employer for violation. Being paid without a pay stub makes it all too easy for errors or even wage theft to go unnoticed and unchecked. This bill would provide clarity and transparancy for employers and workers and encourage honest business practices.

This set of bills would improve equity in Rhode Island and make our economy stronger by keeping workers safe, compensating them fairly, and giving them the support they need. The Economic Progress Institute strongly urges the passage of HB7319, HB7580, HB7650, HB7789, and HB7790.

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