Title 28
Labor and Labor Relations

Chapter 6
Wage Discrimination Based on Sex

R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-6-22

§ 28-6-22. Wage history and wage range.

(a) No employer shall:

(1) Rely on the wage history of an applicant when deciding whether to consider the applicant for employment;

(2) Require that an applicant’s prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria as a condition of being considered for employment;

(3) Rely on the wage history of an applicant in determining the wages such applicant is to be paid by the employer upon hire; or

(4) Seek the wage history of an applicant.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, after the employer makes an initial offer of employment with an offer of compensation to an applicant for employment, an employer may:

(1) Rely on wage history to support a wage higher than the wage offered by the employer if wage history is voluntarily provided by the applicant for employment without prompting from the employer;

(2) Seek to confirm the wage history of the applicant for employment to support a wage higher than the wage offered by the employer, when relying on wage history as permitted in subsection (b)(1) of this section; and

(3) Rely on wage history in these circumstances to the extent that the higher wage does not create an unlawful pay differential based on the characteristics identified in § 28-6-18(a).

(4) Nothing in this section shall penalize an employer for having knowledge of an employee’s wage history at that employer if the employee currently works for the employer.

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, nothing in this chapter shall preclude an employer from verifying information voluntarily provided by a job applicant about an applicant’s unvested equity or deferred compensation that an applicant would forfeit or have cancelled by virtue of the applicant’s resignation from the applicant’s current employer or any voluntary disclosure of non-wage related information. Further, an employer may request a background check that does not affirmatively seek wage history; provided, however, if the background check discloses the applicant’s wage history, such information shall not be relied on for purposes of determining wage, benefits or other compensation for an applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation for a contract for employment.

(c) Upon the applicant’s request, an employer shall provide an applicant for employment the wage range for the position for which the applicant is applying. The employer should provide a wage range for the position the applicant is applying for prior to discussing compensation. An employer shall provide an employee the wage range for the employee’s position both at the time of hire and when the employee moves into a new position. During the course of employment, upon an employee’s request, an employer shall provide the wage range for the employee’s position.

(d) The department of labor and training may provide guidance to employers for determining the information to be provided pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and may include information regarding definitions applicable to this chapter.

(e) An employer may not refuse to interview, hire, promote, or employ an applicant for employment or employee and may not retaliate against that individual because he or she did not provide a wage history or because he or she requested the wage range for a position in accordance with this section.

History of Section.
P.L. 2021, ch. 169, § 3, effective January 1, 2023; P.L. 2021, ch. 168, § 3, effective January 1, 2023.