Chapter 064
2019 -- H 5769 AS AMENDED
Enacted 06/28/2019

A N   A C T

Introduced By: Representatives Blazejewski, Morin, O'Brien, Mendez, and Maldonado
Date Introduced: February 27, 2019

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
     SECTION 1. Title 28 of the General Laws entitled "LABOR AND LABOR
RELATIONS" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
     28-58-1. Short title.
     This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Local Ownership Opportunity Act."
     28-58-2. Legislative purpose.
     The purpose of this legislation is to preserve jobs and create new opportunities for
economic growth and entrepreneurship in Rhode Island by providing opportunities for employees
to purchase a business, otherwise at risk of closure.
     28-58-3. Definitions.
     (a) "Employer," "plant closing," "mass layoff," "representative," "employment loss,"
"unit of local government," and "part-time employee" means those terms as defined in 29 U.S.C.
     (b) "Employing business" means the business enterprise or entity for which the affected
employees worked or were suffered or permitted to work at the time the notice defined in § 28-
58-4 was issued.
     28-58-4. Notification to affected employees.
     (a) Whenever an employer is required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining
Notification Act (WARN Act), 29 U.S.C. Chapter 23, to provide advance notice of a plant closing
or mass layoff, the director of the department of labor and training, or any designee thereof, shall
provide to the affected employees or the representatives of the affected employees written notice
consisting of, but not limited to, the following:
     (1) Notice of the affected employees' right to furnish a bid to purchase the employing
business; and
     (2) Information regarding the formation of a workers' cooperative under chapter 6.2 of
title 7.
     (b) The department of labor and training, or any designee thereof, shall make available to
employees information, materials, and resources on the creation of worker's workers’
cooperatives as defined in chapter 6.2 of title 7.
     (c) The department of labor and training shall provide access for business owners to
information, and materials on the creation of worker's workers’ cooperatives under chapter 6.2 of
title 7, and the conversion of a traditionally owned business to worker ownership.
     28-58-5. Sale not compelled.
     Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as compelling or preventing a sale by the
employing business.
     28-58-6. Regulations.
     The department of labor and training shall coordinate implementation and enforcement of
this chapter and may promulgate appropriate guidelines or regulations for such purposes.
     28-58-7. Severability.
     If any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation created under this chapter, or the
application of any provision of this chapter to any person or circumstance shall be held invalid in
any court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of the chapter, rule, or regulation and the
application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby. The
invalidity of any section or sections or parts of any section of this chapter shall not affect the
validity of the remainder of this chapter and to this end the provisions of the chapter are declared
to be severable.
     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect on September 1, 2019.