Payroll and Benefits Guide United States – Rhode Island

Last updated: Apr 04, 2023

United States Dollar (USD)
Employer Taxes
10.44% – 24.44%
Payroll Frequency
Employee Costs
Date Format
Fiscal Year
1 January- 31 December



Employer Payroll Contributions

1.10% – 9.70% (Tier I maximum taxable wages is 28,200.00 USD, for Tier II maximum taxable wages is 29,700.00 USD) Unemployment Insurance (state)
1.09% (includes 0.21% Job Development assessment & 0.00% Job Development Adjustment) Unemployment- New Employer (state)
6.20% (maximum taxable wages is 160,200.00 USD) FICA (OASDI) Social Security (federal)
1.45% FICA Medicare (federal)
0.60% – 6.00% (maximum taxable wages is 7,000 USD) The FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act)  tax rate is 6.0% with a taxable wage base of 7,000 USD. However, if states operate their unemployment insurance programs in compliance with federal law then the FUTA tax is reduced (credit) by 5.4% to 0.6%.
10.44% – 24.44% Total Employment Cost


Employee Payroll Contributions

7.65% – 8.55% Total Employee Cost
6.20% (Maximum taxable wages is 160,200.00 USD) FICA Social Security (Federal)
1.45% FICA Medicare (Federal)
0.90% Additional tax on earnings over 200,000 USD (High-income earners also pay an additional 0.90% in Medicare taxes)


Employee Income Tax

Rhode Island State Income Tax
6.20%  Maximum taxable wages is 160,200.00 USD) FICA Social Security (federal)
1.45% FICA Medicare (federal)
0.90% Additional tax on earnings over 200,000 USD for single filers/ 250,000 USD for joint filers (high-income earners also pay an additional 0.9% in Medicare)
7.65% – 8.55% Total Employee Cost
Rhode Island State Income Tax
5.99% Supplemental Wage/Bonus Rate
State Tax – Single
3.75% Up to 73,450.00 USD
4.75% 73,451.00 USD to 166,950.00 UUSD
5.99% 166,950.00 USD and over
Standard Deduction and Personal Exemption
Single 10,000.00 USD
Couple /Married Filing Jointly 20,050.00 USD
Personal exemption:
Single 4,700.00 USD
Couple /Married Filing Jointly 8,500.00 USD
Dependent 4,250.00 USD
Federal Employee Income Tax
Federal Tax – Singles
10.00% Up to 11,000 USD
12.00% 11,001 USD to 44,725 USD
22.00% 44,726 USD to 95,375 USD
24.00% 95,376 USD to 182,100 USD
32.00% 182,101 USD to 231.250 USD
35.00% 231,251 USD to 578,125 USD
37.00% 578,126 USD or more
Federal Tax – Married, filing jointly
10.00% Up to 22,000 USD
12.00% 22,001 USD to 89,450 USD
22.00% 88,451 USD to 190,750 USD
24.00% 190,751 USD to 364,200 USD
32.00% 364,201 USD to 462,500 USD
35.00% 462,501 USD to 693,750 USD
37.00% 693,751 USD or more
Federal Tax – Heads of Households
10.00% Up to 15,700 USD
12.00% 15,701 USD to 59,850 USD
22.00% 59,851 USD to 95,350 USD
24.00% 95,351 USD to 182,100 USD
32.00% 182,101 USD to 231,250 USD
35.00% 231,251 USD to 578,100 USD
37.00% 578,101 USD or more
Standard Deduction and Personal Exemption


(Beginning January 1, taxpayers will be allowed to subtract any military service pension benefits included in federal adjusted gross income (AGI) when calculating their income for Rhode Island income tax purposes)

13,850 USD Single
27,700 USD Married Filing Jointly
20,800 USD Head of Household

Minimum Wage


The minimum wage in Rhode Island is 13.00 USD per hour.


Payroll Cycle

Employees in Rhode Island are paid either semi-monthly or monthly with payments being made on set dates as stipulated in the contract, but no later than 9 days before the end of the pay cycle.

There are also weekly payroll cycles for hourly-paid employees. With approval from the Director of Labour and Training, this can be set as semi-monthly.

13th Salary

There are no provisions in the law regarding 13th salaries.

Working Hours


The standard workweek consists of a maximum of 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day.


Rhode Island adheres to the Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA), and overtime is paid when an employee works more than 40 hours in a single workweek. The employer must pay 150% of the regular salary rate for the extra hours worked as overtime. Similarly, if employees are scheduled to work on weekends or rest days, no additional payment is required.

However, should an employer request an employee to work in exceptional circumstances on these days, then overtime will be payable at 150% of the regular salary rate for the extra hours worked.

Working Week



Paid Time Off

Rhode Island does not have any state laws governing the amount and payment of vacation time. However, it is common for employers to decide whether to offer paid or unpaid vacation leave.  This must comply with employment law and must be stipulated in collective bargaining agreements.

Public Holidays

There are 11 official holidays. If a holiday falls on a Sunday, then the following day is observed. In addition, if an employee is required to work, then the pay rate is 150% of the regular pay.

Sick Days

State law offers 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 3 hours worked, up to an annual maximum of 40 hours of paid sick leave.

In addition, sick leave falls under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which provides leave for an employee with a serious health condition that makes them unable to perform the essential functions of their job.

It is common for an employer to follow the FMLA which provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain family and medical reasons (maternity leave, serious illnesses, or if the employee needs to care for a spouse or child).

Employees are eligible for FMLA if they have worked for their employer for at least one year, completed a minimum of 1,250 hours over the past year, and worked at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave falls under the FMLA (see sick leave) which allows a mother:

  • Twelve working weeks of leave in any one year for a child’s birth and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth.

In addition to the FMLA, Rhode Island’s Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) requires employers with 4 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, including modified work environments, longer breaks, light duty, job restructuring, modification of equipment (including seating), etc.

Lastly, Rhode Island Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) entitles employees who are temporarily unable to work due to pregnancy or childbirth to receive a portion of their regular salary pay up to 30 weeks, with an additional four weeks paid leave for new parents. This is part of the Rhode Island Temporary Caregiver Insurance.



Paternity Leave

Paternity leave falls under the FMLA (see sick leave), which allows fathers:

  • Twelve working weeks of leave in any one year for a child’s birth and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth.

Parental Leave

Parental leave falls under the FMLA (see sick leave), which allows for:

  • Leave for the adoption or foster care of a child and care for the newly placed child within one year of placement.
  • Any qualifying necessity arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty.”

Rhode Island Family Leave laws (RIPFMLA) apply to employers with more than 50 employees, employees of the state, or any town or municipality that employs over 30 employees. This law entitles the eligible employee (who worked an average of 30 or more hours per week and have been employed for at least 12 consecutive months) to 13 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave in any two years. An employer can pay the employee for these weeks if stipulated in the contract.

Other Leave

Leave for the care of an employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a severe health condition falls under the FMLA (see sick leave).

Alternatively, an employee may take 26 working weeks of leave during a single one-year period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

Other leave under Rhode Island law includes:

  • Job-protected but unpaid leave for full-time employees for jury duty or as a witness in a case, responding to a subpoena, or acting as a plaintiff or defendant in the courts. Employees must provide a copy of the jury summons to the employer as evidence of requirement.


Termination Process

Except in mass dismissals or as provided in an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement, U.S. law does not impose a formal notice period to terminate an individual employment relationship, and employment is stipulated “at will.”

This means that either the employer or the employee may end the employment relationship without giving either notice or reason, provided it is not illegal, notable discrimination on the grounds of a category protected by law, and as per the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).

The employment contracts of executives and other highly skilled individuals often incorporate a “just cause termination” clause which mandates that the employer may only terminate the employee for “cause” and lists the permissible grounds. In such cases, the parties negotiate the foundations for a just cause termination.

Notice Period

In Rhode Island, most employees are employed “at-will,” and either party can terminate the employment relationship without notice. In Rhode Island, payout of unused vacation time is not required by law. Still, employers will generally pay an employee for unused vacation days, provided the employee gave some advanced notice of resignation.  While there is no official notice period general practice is 2 weeks’ notice is a minimum requirement.

In mass dismissal cases the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) must be followed, and employers must give 60 days’ notice to impacted employees.

Severance Pay

Except as otherwise provided in an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, employers are not required to provide severance pay. Employers who choose to offer severance would need to have the provisions within the employee’s contract and agreed by both parties. Many employers choose to offer severance pay based on the employee’s length of employment.

Probation Period

No legal provision governs a formal trial or probation period. However, it is common practice for employers to set a performance evaluation after an initially stated period of employment of 90 days.



Foreign nationals without permanent resident status or a work visa are not permitted to work in the United States. An employer seeking to hire a foreign national may file a petition with the United States Department of Homeland Security or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an employment visa on behalf of the prospective employee.

If the petition is approved, the prospective employee must obtain a visa stamp from a United States embassy or consulate (Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement).  To get a temporary U.S. work visa, an employer must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An approved petition must be part of the visa request.

The types of visas include:

  • H-1B: For applicants with a college degree hired to do specialized work. The visa is valid for three years and can be extended for an additional three years. The visa is connected to the employer that filed the petition. If there is a change of employer, the new employer must repeat the process. There are 65,000 H-1B visas available each year.
  • H-1B1: For applicants with a college degree from Chile and Singapore. The US government grants up to 1,400 visas to Chilean citizens and 5,400 from Singapore each year.
  • H-2A:  For temporary or seasonal agriculture work. It is limited to citizens of qualified countries. Usually valid for up to 1 year and can be extended to a maximum of 3 years.
  • H-2B: For temporary non-agricultural work. These visas are limited to citizens of qualified countries. Usually valid for up to 1 year and can be extended to a maximum of 3 years.
  • L: For intercompany transfers (people transferred from a foreign company to a US branch of the company). The applicant must have been employed at the company for a year before the transfer and work in a managerial level position or higher with specialized knowledge.
  • O – for people with extraordinary abilities in science, arts, education, business, or athletics.

The standard procedure is to obtain a short-term work visa and then apply for an immigrant visa after the employee has started working in the United States.

For those seeking employment-based immigrant visas:

  • E-1: Highest priority employment for those with extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business, and athletics
  • E-2: For those with advanced degrees or exceptional ability
  • E-3: For skilled workers and professionals, as well as unskilled workers
  • E-4: Members of certain immigrant groups
  • E-5: Immigrant investors in US companies (substantial investment)

Alternatively, an employer may sponsor a potential employee’s application for permanent resident status, referred to as a “green card” if the employee can establish that the potential employee is a multinational executive or manager transferee, has unique skills, or has been offered a job in the United States.

The employer must have been unable to recruit a U.S. worker who meets the position’s minimum requirements.

All employers are obligated to verify that all individuals they employ are authorized to work in the United States.



The state sales tax is 7%.

Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Version History

February 16, 2022
The minimum wage in Rhode Island increased to 12.25 USD per hour.
Payroll contributions and personal income tax rates have been updated.
September 30, 2020
The Rhode Island minimum wage increased by $1 rising to $11.50 per hour.

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Payroll and Benefits Guide
in United States – Rhode Island

What’s covered in this guide:

  • Employer/employee contributions
  • Minimum wage
  • Working hours
  • Visa requirements

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Public Holidays Calendar

United States – Rhode Island 2023
Day Date Holiday Notes
Sunday Jan-1 New Year's Day
Monday Jan-16 Martin Luther King Day
Monday Feb-20 Presidents Day
Monday May-29 Memorial Day
Monday Jun-19 Juneteenth Independence Day
Tuesday Jul-4 Independence Day July
Monday Sep-4 Labor Day
Monday Oct-9 Columbus Day
Friday Nov-10 Veterans Day
Thursday Nov-23 Thanksgiving Day
Monday Dec-25 Christmas Day