• House Labor Hears Minimum Wage and Premium Pay Bills – Alert

    House Labor Hears Minimum Wage and Premium Pay Bills – Alert
     
    On Wednesday, February 24th at 6:00 p.m. the House Labor Committee will take written and verbal testimony on H.5130, An Act Relating to Labor and Labor Relations – Minimum Wages.  This bill is identical to the original version of S.1.   It proposes to increase the minimum wage to $12.25 on October 1, 2021, $13.00 on October 1, 2022, $14.00 on October 1, 2023 and $15.00 on October 1, 2024.  The Chamber strongly encourages you to contact your State Representative and to submit testimony Wednesday if this bill affects your business.

    H.5403, An Act Relating to Holidays and Days of Special Observance – work on Holidays and Sundays, will also be heard in committee. Current law allows the Director of Labor and Training to exempt business from premium pay rules upon application.  H.5403 places new criteria to qualify for the exemption:  1) paying 200% of the state minimum wage, 2) no use of temporary employment agencies to staff the business 3) provides employer-funded health care benefits, 4) provides employer-funded retirement options to employees, 5) has no federal labor law violations within the last 10 years, 6) has no environmental violations within the last 10 years, and 7) has no settlements of alleged violations of federal or environmental laws in the last 10 years.  Rhode Island’s current premium pay requirement makes the state and outlier in the country as all others – except Massachusetts - have eliminated the requirement.  Massachusetts reduced premium pay to 1.3 times the wage in 2021, 1.2 times the wage in 2022, 1.1 times the wage in 2023 and elimination of premium pay in 2024.  These reductions coincide with the steps Massachusetts is taking to increase the minimum wage to $15.00.

     
    Both verbal and written testimony are welcome. Individuals interested in providing verbal testimony, Click Here 

    Requests for verbal testimony must be submitted via the link, by 11:00 AM Wednesday, February 24, 2021.  Written testimony should be submitted to:
    HouseLabor@rilegislature.gov  Indicate your name, bill number, and viewpoint (for/against/neither) at top of message. In order for materials to be distributed to members and posted to the General Assembly website prior to the hearing, written testimony must be submitted no later than 4:00 pm. All testimony received after deadline will be sent to committee members and posted to the website -- within 24 hours. It is recommended that testimony is submitted as a PDF file.
     

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