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Employee Discipline: Rhode Island

Employee Discipline requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Jessica Sussman


  • Rhode Island wiretapping laws require the consent of one party in order to legally record a conversation. See Recording Meetings.
  • Rhode Island law prohibits smoking within enclosed places of employment. Employees should be disciplined for violations of employer policies enforcing this law. See Smoke-Free Workplace Law.
  • Rhode Island employers may not discipline employees for certain conduct while off-duty. See Off-Duty Conduct.
  • Rhode Island employers may not, orally or in writing, request, require or subject an employee to submit a sample of his or her urine, blood or other bodily fluid or tissue for testing as a condition of continued employment. See Drug and Alcohol Testing.
  • Employees in Rhode Island are permitted to take time off from work for protected activities, and may not be disciplined for doing so. See Attendance.
  • Rhode Island employers should be cautious when disciplining employees for actions related to breastfeeding in the workplace. See Breastfeeding.
  • Rhode Island has enacted the Student and Employee Social Media Privacy Act of 2014. See Social Media Privacy.
  • Rhode Island law protects employees from discrimination based on a number of protected characteristics. See Discipline and Discrimination.
  • Rhode Island law prohibits employers from retaliating against certain employees who have engaged in protected activities. See Discipline and Retaliation.
  • Employers should be aware of potential tort, or wrongful act, claims that may be brought based on employee discipline, including defamation. See Discipline Considerations.
  • Rhode Island employers should use caution when assessing monetary penalties for misconduct. See Penalties for Misconduct.
  • Generally, employees disciplined for misconduct will not be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. See Employment Security Eligibility.