Bi-Weekly Pay (House Bill 6065/Senate Bill 980)

Date: November 12, 2014

The legislation allows companies with average payrolls of
200% of the minimum wage to pay their workers bi-weekly. After decades of
struggling to reform the nation’s most restrictive law on weekly pay, the Rhode
Island business community was able to win the right for most Ocean State
employers to pay workers less frequently than every week. A bi-weekly pay bill
without restrictions was approved by House leaders as part of their economic
development package, but met resistance in the Senate. The compromise with
specific parameters (allowing bi-weekly pay for all employers with average
payrolls of 200% of the minimum wage) was approved. The employer must also
provide a surety bond for the highest biweekly pay period of the preceding

Instead of the most restrictive law in the nation, Rhode
Island probably now has about the fortieth most restrictive. And frankly regulations
promulgated by the state Division of Labor and Training makes it more difficult
to use bi-weekly pay by making companies renew their applications every five
years. After so many years, this huge step in the right direction needs
additional changes to improve the state’s business climate and to bring Rhode
Island law into the mainstream with other states with which business competes.

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