Rhode Island Employment Law Update – July 2016

Rhode Island

Recovery of Unpaid Wages

On July 12, 2016, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation (H.B. 7628) that:

  • Provides employees with several additional avenues to help them collect their wages from nonpaying employers.
  • Sets forth penalties for nonpayment of wages by an employer.
  • Implements a new procedure for filing claims.

The law went into effect upon signing.

Read RI H.B. 7628

Physician Restrictive Covenants

On July 12, 2016, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation (H.B. 7586) that renders restrictive covenants in employment agreements with physicians void and unenforceable except where restrictive covenants and noncompete clauses are in the purchase and sale agreement of a physician’s practices and they are for a period of no more than five years.

The law went into effect upon signing.

Read RI H.B. 7586

National Guard Re-Employment Rights

On July 6, 2016, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation (S.B. 2888) that expands the re-employment rights of employees who are members of the National Guard members to include those who are National Guard members of another state.

The law went into effect upon signing.

Read RI S.B. 2888

Veterans Preference

On July 6, 2016, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation (H.B. 8036) that allows private employers to adopt an employment policy that provides a preference for veterans in hiring and/or promotion. Such policy must be in writing and uniformly applied to employment decisions regarding hiring and promotion. An employer may require a veteran do submit proper documentation to be eligible for the preference in hiring.

The law went into effect upon signing.

Read RI H.B. 8036

Mandated Health Benefits – Synchronization of Patient Medication

On June 28, 2016, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation (H.B. 8022) concerning the synchronization of patient medication. The bill authorizes pharmacies to dispense prescriptions of less than a 30-day supply for the purpose of synchronizing a patient’s medications. The bill also permits pharmacists to dispense a 90-day supply upon refilling a patient’s original prescription under certain circumstances.

The law went into effect upon signing.

Read RI H.B. 8022

Mandated Health Benefits – Off-Label Uses of Prescription Drugs

On June 17, 2016, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation (H.B. 7512) amending state law regarding off-label uses of prescription drugs. The bill states that no health insurer issuing a policy that provides coverage for prescription drugs may exclude coverage of any drug used for the treatment of disabling or life-threatening chronic disease on the grounds that the drug is considered off-label.

The law went into effect upon signing.

Read RI H.B. 7512