Paid Sick Leave

Last updated: January 25, 2024

Rhode Island's many full and part-time workers can accrue time off under the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act. Workers earn 1 hour of time for every 35 hours they work.

The maximum amount of time that can be accrued is 40 hours.

Workers can take time off when they are sick or to take care of a family member. Addressing needs as a result of domestic violence also qualifies.

Paid time workers in larger companies (18 or more employers) are entitled to paid time off.

Unpaid time workers in smaller companies (less than 18 employees) are not entitled to paid time but the employer may not take adverse action against an employee for taking unpaid time off for sick or safe time and must allow employees to take leave, without fear of retribution.

Employers can set a 90-day waiting period before newly hired employees can use leave. For seasonal workers, the waiting period can be 150 days of employment and for temporary employees the waiting period is 180 days.

Employees can carry over up to 40 hours to the next 12-month period. Total accrual per calendar year is 40 hours. Employers may pay accrued and unused sick time at year’s end.

If an employer currently has a policy that grants employees paid time off in a manner consistent with the new requirements, it does not need to provide additional paid leave.

Note that workers who need to take longer periods of time off from work due to injury or illness may be eligible for temporary disability/caregiver insurance. See our TDI/TCI Guide pages for more information.

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