Rhode Island--Laws Relating to Pregnancy

Rhode Island--Laws Relating to Pregnancy

RHODE ISLAND

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Prohibitions against Pregnancy Discrimination

It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate based on sex. “Because of sex” or “on the basis of sex” include, but are not limited to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions must be treated the same for all employment related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.

*Applies to the public sector and to employers of four or more individuals

For the text of the statute, click here.[1]

Pregnancy Accommodation

Rhode Island does not provide additional protections to the federal law. For exceptions, see Central Falls, below.

Pregnancy-related Disability Accommodation

Rhode Island does not specifically accommodate pregnancy or its attendant medical conditions as a disability. For exceptions, see Central Falls, below.

Breastfeeding Rights

An employer must make a reasonable effort to provide a private, secure and sanitary room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express her milk or breastfeed her child.

For the text of the statute, click here.[2]

Family and Childcare Leave Laws

Every employee who has been employed by the same employer for twelve consecutive months is entitled, upon advance notice to his or her employer, to thirteen weeks of parental leave or family leave in any two calendar years. Employees must give thirty days notice. Parental leave or family leave may be unpaid. Leave is job-protected.

*Applies to private employers with 50 or more employees, all state government employers, and local governments with 30 or more employees.

For the text of the statute, click here.[3]

State workers may use up to 10 paid sick days each year for the illness of an immediate family member.

For more information, click here.[4]

Rhode Island’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program provides partial wage replacement to eligible workers who are temporarily disabled, including to women with pregnancy or childbirth-related disabilities. Workers are eligible for up to 30 weeks of TDI payments up to a maximum payment cap.

For more information, click here.[5]

CENTRAL FALLS

Prohibitions against Pregnancy Discrimination  

It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for any employer or any entity contracted with the city to refuse to reasonably accommodate an employee’s or prospective employee’s pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, including but not limited to the need to express milk for a nursing child. Additionally, employers must not deny employment opportunities to a current or prospective employee on the basis of that employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.

*Applies to all employers.

To read the text of the statute, click here.

Pregnancy Accommodation and Breastfeeding Rights

It is an unlawful employment practice for the employer to refuse to reasonably accommodate an employee or prospective employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition, including but not limited to the need to express milk for a nursing child. Some of the examples of such accommodation include more frequent or longer breaks, time off to recover from childbirth, acquisition or modification of equipment, temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position, job restructuring, light duty, private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk, modified work schedules, assistance with manual labor, and the like. However, employers may not require the employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided to accommodate their needs.

*Applies to all employers.

To read the text of the statute: click here.

For the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, click here.

For the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, click here.

For further information on your pregnancy rights, contact Legal Momentum.

Copyright 2013 Legal Momentum



[1] R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 28-5-7

[3] R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 28-48-2

[4]State of Rhode Island. (2010, September 22). Employee Handbook: Sick Leave with Pay (Exception Code S). Retrieved 7 June 2013.

[5]Rhode Island Department of Labor andTraining. (n.d.). Temporary Disability Insurance Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved 7 June 2013.

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