Rhode Island Employment Law Update – June 2016

Rhode Island

Discrimination Against Subpoenaed Employees

On June 6, 2016, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation (H.B. 7005) prohibiting an employer from discharging, threatening, or otherwise taking any adverse action against an employee regarding the employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges of employment when:

  • An employee has been duly served with a subpoena, to give evidence or testify before any court within or without the state of Rhode Island or before any judicial, quasi-judicial, or other administrative body or entity with the authority to issue subpoenas.
  • The employee, upon being duly served with a properly issued subpoena, promptly provides notice to his or her employer of being served and of the requirement to attend court or other duly constituted hearing.

Employers who violate the law may be liable for damages including actual damages, compensatory damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by the employee.

The law does not require an employer to compensate an employee for time missed from work for complying with a subpoena.

The law went into effect upon signing.

Read CT H.B. 7005