What Is the Minimum Wage in Rhode Island State?

Cole Mayer
The Providence, Rhode Island skyline at night.
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If you are a worker or employer in Rhode Island, you may be interested in understanding minimum wage regulations in the state. This guide will provide a comprehensive look at the minimum wage in The Ocean State.

2020 Minimum Wage in Rhode Island: $10.50 per hour

The minimum wage in Rhode Island, $10.50 per hour, is more than the federal minimum wage. This only applies to non-exempt workers, as exempt or salary workers are paid a flat rate instead of per hour. 

There are also exemptions for minimum wage for 14- and 15-year-olds who do not work more than 24 hours in a week. At 75% of the normal minimum wage, the minimum is $7.88 per hour. However, 14- and 15-year-olds that work more than 24 hours per week are entitled to the full $10.50 per hour. 

Full-time students under the age of 19 working for nonprofit religious, educational, librarial, or community service organizations are also exempt, and instead earn 90% of the minimum wage, or $9.45 per hour. 

Rhode Island also requires employers to pay time-and-a-half for work done on Sundays, like overtime pay.

There are also exemptions for minimum wage in line with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These include: seasonal amusement or recreational establishment employees; babysitters or outside salespersons; trainees and apprentices; and people with developmental disabilities.

Tipped: $3.89 per hour

The minimum tipped wage in Rhode Island is $3.89 per hour, which does not include the amount provided by tips. There is a $6.61 tip credit, and if an employee does not earn at least the minimum wage in the state, the employer must make up the difference. In total, a tipped employee will receive no less than $10.50 per hour. 

Weekly: $420

Employees who earn minimum wage in Rhode Island can expect to make $420 for a full-time workweek. This weekly amount assumes a typical 40-hour workweek at the $10.50 per hour rate, but it doesn’t take into account an individual’s income tax withholdings.

Annually: $21,840

Employees who earn minimum wage in Rhode Island can expect to make $21,840 for a full year of work. The annual estimate assumes a typical 52-week, 40-hour per-week position at the $10.50 per hour rate, but, again, does not account for any withholding, so the actual take-home pay will be lower for minimum wage workers. 

Additionally, the actual number may be different due to deductions such as taxes, instances of unpaid time off, or holiday pay. For comparison, this annual income is a bit more than the $20,797.20 an E1 private in the Army makes. There are also advantages and disadvantages to military careers that do not apply to most civilian jobs.

Overtime: $15.75

Employees who work overtime in Rhode Island can expect to make at least $15.75 an hour. This assumes the federal rate of 1.5 times the state minimum wage of $10.50. Overtime is calculated based on the number of hours worked on a weekly basis. Any time worked beyond 40 hours a week must be paid at this rate. 

Rhode Island Minimum Wage Increase News

The Senate recently passed a bill that would increase the minimum wage to $11.50 on October 1, 2020, with an eye on getting the state’s rate to $15 by 2024. There are no further developments on this issue. If this bill isn’t approved, Rhode Island will set itself apart from neighboring states Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont, which have each seen a minimum wage increase this year.

If the minimum wage is not sufficient for you, consider asking your employer for a raise. If you are comfortable doing more work and earning money based on how much you work, consider taking part in the gig economy.

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