The Rhode Island General Assembly has passed legislation that would permit employers to apply to pay their workers less frequently than weekly, with a number of provisions, including having a substantial surety bond.
The legislation would allow employers in any industry to petition the state Department of Labor and Training (DLT) to pay their workers less frequently than weekly, but no less frequently than twice per month.
The prime sponsor of the bill, Rep. Joy Hearn, D-Barrington, East Providence, said that the move would benefit the state’s businesses – particularly smaller ones – by diminishing the administrative burdens of more frequent payroll tasks.
“This legislation is important to the business community of Rhode Island,” she explained. “Many businesses are looking to save in the cost of doing payroll to free up funds for growth, improvements and jobs.”
Rep. Hearn was backed up by state senator, Erin P. Lynch, D-Warwick, who is sponsoring the companion legislation in the Senate. She stated that it makes the most fiscal sense for the Rhode Island business community.
“This is common sense legislation,” she said. “We’re changing how we do business here and we’re getting everyone on the same page. If companies can free up money and allocate it toward more positions or profits, then they can begin to fully contribute to the economy again.”
Employers would be required to meet a number of strict conditions to be able to change their payroll structures. These would include providing a surety bond amounting to the highest bi-weekly payroll exposure in the preceding year for the employees subject to the petition. They would also have to have more than 2,500 employees located in Rhode Island.