A Rhode Island employment contract outlines the terms and conditions of employment. It establishes a relationship between an employer and an employee and highlights elements such as the period of employment, the employee’s salary, the employee’s job responsibilities, and the procedures for terminating the employment relationship.
In Rhode Island, a contract must have basic elements like consideration, an offer, and acceptance by both parties. Under state law, a general contract refers to an agreement that facilitates the purchase or disposal of supplies, services, construction, or other items  .
Hiring in Rhode Island
Before hiring employees in Rhode Island, you need to be aware of the state employment laws and regulations.
Rhode Island is an at-will employment state. There are also exceptions to the at-will employment rules.
- Public Policy: No
- Implied Contract: No
- Good-Faith Exception: No
Minimum Wage ($/hr)
The minimum wage in Rhode Island is $13.00/hour for most employees, but there are some exceptions. For example, full-time students under 19 years old working in specific organizations are only entitled to receive 90% of the state’s minimum wage  .
Tipped workers need to earn a minimum of $3.89/hour, but their earnings must equal the state minimum wage with tips included. If a worker doesn’t meet this threshold, the employer must make up the difference.
Rhode Island requires employment certificates for minors under 16  .
Age certification is also required in Rhode Island for minors 16 and 17. Both employment certificates and age certifications can be obtained through the minor’s school.
Rhode Island requires most employers to pay employees on a weekly basis  .
Employers that meet specific requirements outlined in Rhode Island General Law Section 28-14-2.2 can seek permission from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training to pay employees less frequently than weekly (but at least twice a month).
Meal and Rest Breaks
Rhode Island does not require minimum paid break periods. However, meal periods are required. Employees working a six-hour shift are entitled to a 20-minute mealtime, while employees working an eight-hour shift are entitled to a 30-minute mealtime  .
Rhode Island employers must keep employees’ payroll records for at least three years  . Some other recordkeeping requirements include:
- Unemployment Insurance: 4 years
- Safety and Health/Workers’ Compensation: 30 years for hazardous chemicals
Below, you can download a Rhode Island employment contract template in PDF or Word format: