RI General Assembly

New Legislation Aims to Ensure Weekly Pay for Rhode Island Workers

In response to the escalating challenges faced by Rhode Islanders in meeting the high cost of living, Senator Frank A. Ciccone III and Representative Enrique George Sanchez are championing a new legislative initiative requiring most businesses in the state to pay their employees on a weekly basis.

Representative Sanchez (D-Dist. 9, Providence) emphasized the urgency of the proposed legislation, stating, “The people of Rhode Island need this now in order to pay the high cost of living. As legislators, we should be doing everything we can to aid our hardworking constituents struggling with rising costs.”

While existing Rhode Island law mandates weekly payment for workers, it includes several exemptions. The introduced bill (2024-H 7457, 2024-S 2477) seeks to eliminate all exemptions, with the exception of state offices, municipal governments, and nonprofit organizations employing fewer than twenty-five individuals. Additionally, employees with fixed compensation at a biweekly, semi-monthly, monthly, or yearly rate would remain on a biweekly pay schedule. Senator Ciccone (D-Dist. 7, Providence, Johnston) is set to introduce a corresponding bill in the Senate shortly.

Senator Ciccone stressed the importance of more frequent pay for hardworking Rhode Islanders, stating, “For the hardest working Rhode Islanders, sometimes a paycheck every two weeks doesn’t get the bills paid. Rent has gone up, groceries are more than they were a year ago, and it costs more to heat your home. Getting paid a week earlier helps.”

A recent survey conducted late last year revealed that over three-quarters of Rhode Islanders are grappling with the increasing cost of living. This struggle was notably pronounced among members of traditionally marginalized communities. The proposed legislation aims to address these economic challenges and provide tangible relief to the state’s workforce.




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