Rhode Island Minimum Wage and Overtime Exemptions




Executive exemption

Rhode Island exempts bona fide executive employees from its overtime requirements. To qualify for the executive employee exemption, an employee must be paid on a salary basis and meet the additional criteria set forth by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act regarding executive employees. RI Statute 28-12-4.3(a)(4). Rhode Island sets the minimum weekly salary for exempt executive employees at $200 per week; however, employers cannot take the exemption unless executive employees are paid at least the standard minimum wage if their salaries were computed on an hourly basis. RI Statute 28-12-4.3(a)(5)



Administrative exemption

Rhode Island exempts bona fide administrative employees from its overtime requirements. To qualify for the administrative employee exemption, an employee must be paid at least $200 per week on a salary basis and meet the additional criteria set forth by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act regarding administrative employees. RI Statute 28-12-4.3(a)(4). Rhode Island sets the minimum weekly salary for exempt administrative employees at $200 per week; however, employers cannot take the exemption unless administrative employees are paid at least the standard minimum wage if their salaries were computed on an hourly basis. RI Statute 28-12-4.3(a)(5)





Professional exemption

Rhode Island exempts bona fide professional employees from its overtime requirements. To qualify for the professional employee exemption, an employee must be paid at least $200 per week on a salary basis and meet the additional criteria set forth by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act regarding professional employees. RI Statute 28-12-4.3(a)(4). Rhode Island sets the minimum weekly salary for exempt professional employees at $200 per week; however, employers cannot take the exemption unless professional employees are paid at least the standard minimum wage if their salaries were computed on an hourly basis. RI Statute 28-12-4.3(a)(5)



Outside salesman exemption

Rhode Island minimum wage laws exempt outside salesmen from their minimum wage and overtime requirements; however, Rhode Island does not define the criteria for an employee to be deemed an outside salesman. RI Statute 28-12-2(5)(v) The standards set forth by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act regarding outside sales employees may provide reasonable guidance.



Computer employee exemption

Rhode Island minimum wage laws do not exempt computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers, or other similarly skilled workers from their minimum wage or overtime requirements.



Other minimum wage and overtime exemptions

In additional to those employees discussed above, Rhode Island exempts the following employees from its minimum wage and overtime requirements:

  • any individual employed in domestic service or in or about a private home;
  • any individual employed by the United States;
  • any individual engaged in the activities of an educational, charitable, religious, or nonprofit organization where the employer-employee relationship does not, in fact, exist, or where the services rendered to the organizations are on a voluntary basis;
  • newspaper deliverers on home delivery;
  • shoe shiners in shoe shine establishments;
  • caddies on golf courses;
  • pin persons in bowling alleys;
  • ushers in theatres;
  • traveling salespersons;
  • service performed by an individual in the employ of his or her son, daughter, or spouse and service performed by a child under the age of twenty-one (21) in the employ of his or her father or mother;
  • any individual employed between May 1 and October 1 in a resort establishment which regularly serves meals to the general public and which is open for business not more than six (6) months a year;
  • any individual employed by an organized camp which does not operate for more than seven (7) months in any calendar year. However, this exemption does not apply to individuals employed by the camp on an annual, full-time basis. “Organized camp” means any camp, except a trailer camp, having a structured program including, but not limited to, recreation, education, and religious, or any combination of these.

RI Statute 28-12-2(5)



Overtime only exemptions

In addition to those employees discussed above, Rhode Island exempts the following employees from its overtime requirements. Employers must comply with any minimum wage requirements when compensating these employees.

  • any summer camp employee provided the summer camp is not open more than six months of the year.
  • police officers, firefighters, and rescue service personnel employed by the cities and towns.
  • employees of the state or political subdivision of the state who may elect through a collective bargaining agreement, memorandum of understanding, or any other agreement between the employer and representatives of the employees, or if the employees are not represented by an exclusive bargaining agent, through an agreement or understanding arrived at between the employer and the employee prior to the performance of work, to receive compensatory time off for hours worked in excess of 40 in a week. The compensatory hours shall at least equal one and one half times the hours worked over 40 in a week. If compensation is paid to an employee for accrued compensatory time, the compensation shall be paid at the regular rate earned by the employee at the time of payment. At the time of termination, unused accrued compensatory time shall be paid at a rate not less than:
    • the average regular rate received by the employee during the last three years of the employee’s employment, or
    • the final regular rate received by the employee, whichever is higher.
  • any salaried employee of a nonprofit national voluntary health agency who elects to receive compensatory time off for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
  • any employee, including drivers, driver’s helpers, mechanics, and loaders of any motor carrier, including private carriers, with respect to whom the U.S. secretary of transportation has power to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service pursuant to the provisions of 49 U.S.C. § 3102.
  • any employee who is a salesperson, parts person, or mechanic primarily engaged in the sale and/or servicing of automobiles, trucks or farm implements, and is employed by a non-manufacturing employer primarily engaged in the business of selling vehicles or farm implements to ultimate purchasers, to the extent that the employers are exempt under the federal Wage-Hour and Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. and 29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(10); provided, that the employee’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly actual earnings exceed an amount equal to the employee’s basic contractual hourly rate of pay times the number of hours actually worked plus the employee’s basic contractual hourly rate of pay times one-half ( 1/2) the number of hours actually worked in excess of forty (40) hours per week.
  • any employee employed in agriculture; however, this exemption applies to all agricultural enterprises that produce greenhouse crops, fruit and vegetable crops, herbaceous crops, sod crops, viticulture, viniculture, floriculture, feed for livestock, forestry, dairy farming, aquaculture, the raising of livestock, furbearing animals, poultry and eggs, bees and honey, mushrooms, and nursery stock. This exemption also applies to nursery workers.
  • any employee of an air carrier subject to the provisions of title 45 U.S.C. § 181 et seq., of the Railway Labor Act when the hours worked by such employee in excess of 40 in a work week are not required by the air carrier, but are arranged through a voluntary agreement among employees to trade scheduled work hours.

RI Statute 28-12-4.3(a).