Rhode Island Employment Law Update – July 2018

Rhode Island

Mental Illness Insurance Coverage

On July 7, 2018, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation (S.B. 2540) to include behavioral health counseling visits and medication maintenance visits as primary care visits for patient cost-sharing requirements under the provisions of a health plan. The law also amends the Rhode Island Health Care Reform Act of 2004 — Health Insurance Oversight by expanding the powers and duties of the Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner.

The law became retroactively effective April 1, 2018 for the cost sharing portions, and the expanded duties portion takes effect January 1, 2020.

Read RI S.B. 2540

Health Insurance Contracts and Contraceptives

On July 2, 2018, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation (H.B. 7625) requiring that health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance coverage that covers prescription contraception not restrict reimbursement for dispensing a covered prescription contraceptive up to 365 days at a time.

This reimbursement may not be restricted beginning on the first day of each plan year after the law’s effective date of April 1, 2019.

Read RI H.B. 7625

Public Health and Workplace Safety Act – Smoking in the Workplace

On July 2, 2018, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation (H.B. 8357) amending the definitions of “smoking” and “retail tobacco store” to include the use and sale of electronic smoking devices, electronic nicotine delivery system products, and other products that rely on vaporization or aerosolization. This new definition of smoking prohibits the use of such products (for example, e-cigarettes and vapes) in the workplace.

The law also requires all electronic smoking device establishments to demonstrate their annual revenue generated from the serving of electronic nicotine delivery system devices as a specified percent of their total revenue.

The law is effective July 1, 2018.

Read RI H.B. 8357

Electronic Records for Wage Payment

On June 28, 2018, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation (H.B. 7800) allowing employers to electronically provide employees with regular payday statements and records. This includes an employee’s statement of hours worked, deductions, and regular hourly rate (when applicable). All statements and records required to be furnished to an employee must be furnished as a printed or handwritten record, at no cost to the employee. However, under the new law, an employer may furnish electronic records, in lieu of a printed or handwritten record, but only upon receipt of written authorization from the employee.

The law became effective June 28, 2018.

Read RI H.B. 7800