The Pregnant Worker Fairness Act (PWFA) protects workers from pregnancy discrimination, and went into effect on June 27, 2023.

Last-reviewed: 12pm, Aug. 23, 2023

Key Resources:

The Basics

  • RI’s minimum wage increased on January 1, 2023 from $12.25/hr. to $13.00/hr.
  • Direct support workers hired through the Independent Provider and Personal Choice program will be paid $15/hr., up from $13.25.

The Breakdown

  • Rhode Island June unemployment decreased slightly to 2.8%. More information here.
  • Rhode Island’s minimum wage increased on January 1, 2023 from $12.25/hr. to $13.00/hr. The wage will increase to $14.00/hr. in 2024 and $15/hr. in 2025. More information here.
  • If someone receives a notice from DLT that they have applied for unemployment, but they have not, or receives a tax form for unemployment benefits they didn’t apply for, they may have been the victim of unemployment fraud. Here is information about what to do if this happens.
  • Care team members can support patients who think they have been discriminated against at work by sharing the information that they can consider filing a complaint with the RI Commission for Human Rights.
  • The Pregnant Worker Fairness Act (PWFA) protects workers from pregnancy discrimination, and went into effect on June 27, 2023. More information from EEOC here, and more general information about working while pregnant in RI here.  
  • EmployRI offers job searches, information about UI, job seeker resources and employer services.
  • The Department of Behavioral Healthcare Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals has this resource guide for young people transitioning into adulthood which has information about healthcare, employment, decision making and more.
RI Paid Leave

RI offers workers several options for paid leave that can be used in the case of illness or to care for a loved one.

  • Rhode Island Sick and Safe Leave (ESP)
    • With some exceptions most part-time, full-time, seasonal, temporary or other employees who work primarily in Rhode Island can earn one paid hour off for every 35 hours worked.
  • Temporary Disability Insurance provides up to 30 weeks of benefits for employees who have been injured or become ill and offers up to 60% of wages (plus dependent benefits). Info here.
  • Temporary Caregivers Insurance provides 5 weeks of paid leave for people providing caregiving to a seriously ill family member (or to bond with an infant or foster child placed within the last 12 months). Info here.
    • You must apply for TCI benefits during the first 30 days after the first day of leave is taken for reasons of bonding or caregiving.
Unpaid Leave
  • Under Federal and State Family Medical Leave Acts (FMLA), RI workers can receive unpaid leave to address their own illness or to provide caregiving duties. 
  • This FMLA booklet provides basic information about FMLA leave.

The Bottom Line

  • Care teams can help people experiencing job loss by connecting them to job training and work search resources, as well as income maximization strategies. 

Spotlight on non-discrimination:

  • Care teams can help people who have been discriminated against in the workplace.
  • Employment discrimination based on national origin or race, age, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, religion, pregnancy, disability or the perception that one has a disability, is illegal. If a person believes they have experienced employment discrimination for these reasons, care teams can share information about: