Rhode Island

Paid Family Leave Laws

Great news! There are several family leave laws that Rhode Island workers can take advantage of:

  • Federal Family & Medical Leave (FMLA)
  • Rhode Island Parental and Family Medical Leave (RIPFMLA)
  • Rhode Island Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program (TCI) 

If you’re covered, the federal FMLA and RIPFMLA give you the right to time off and protect your job, but do not provide pay. 

TCI gives you cash benefits to help cover lost wages while you’re on leave and (for most workers) protects your job. 

Generally, if you qualify for more than one, leave under FMLA, RIPFMLA, and/or TCI runs concurrently (at the same time). 

Federal Family & Medical Leave (FMLA)

FMLA provides leave to care for a:

  • Child (who is under the age of 18 or incapable of self-care due to a physical or mental disability)
  • Spouse
  • Parent (including a biological, adoptive, foster, or step-parent, or any other person who stood "in loco parentis” but not including a parent-in-law)

FMLA eligibility includes:

  • All public employers and private employers who employ 50 or more workers within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite. 
  • ​​Employees must have worked for a covered employer for at least one year and have worked for that employer for at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. 

FMLA provisions:

Up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:

  • For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care, or childbirth
  • To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care
  • To care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition
  • For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform their job
  • For certain needs in connection with a loved one's military deployment
  • If medically necessary, employees caring for a seriously ill loved one may be able to take this time in smaller chunks, spread out over time, rather than all at once

FMLA Protections:

  • Job and Seniority: Upon return from FMLA leave, nearly all employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. Rare exceptions to this rule are explained here
  • Benefits: During FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage and continue paying any share of their health insurance premium under any “group health plan” on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work.
  • FMLA rights: An employer can’t punish an employee in any way for using their FMLA rights and can’t interfere with the employees ability to use their rights under the law.


How to apply for FMLA:

  • Notify your employer of your need for leave. You'll need to get your loved one's health care provider to certify their health condition and need for care. Your employer will then provide you with notices and forms to fill out and return to them. 
  • If you know in advance when your leave will start, tell your employer at least 30 days before that date. If you can’t do so or don’t know in advance, tell your employer as soon as possible.

Detailed information about Federal FMLA, visit the US Department of Labor website

But first, check out Rhode Island’s other leave programs below.

Rhode Island Parental and Family Medical Leave (RIPFMLA)

RIPFMLA expands on the Federal FMLA law with:

  • Eligibility for more residents 

RIPFMLA provides leave to care for a:

  • Child 
  • Spouse
  • Parent (including parent-in-law)

RIPFMLA eligibility includes:

  • Employees who work for private sector employers with 50 or more employees, the state of Rhode Island, or local government employers with 30 or more employees 
  • ​​Employees must have worked an average of 30 hours a week or more and have been employed continuously for at least 12 months

RIPFMLA provisions:

Up to 13 consecutive weeks in any two calendar years, under certain conditions:

  • Birth of an employee’s child 
  • Adoption of a child 16 years of age or less
  • "Serious illness" of the employee or the employee's parent, spouse, child, mother-in-law, or father-in-law.
  • Employees who have been employed by their employer for 12 consecutive months, are entitled to 10 hours of leave during any 12 month period to attend school conferences or other school-related activities for their child.

RIPFMLA Protections:

  • Job and Seniority: Upon return from RIPFMLA leave, employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms 
  • Benefits:some text
    • During RPIFMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage as if they had continued to work.   
    • Prior to the commencement of leave, the employee must pay their employer a sum equal to the premium required to maintain their health benefits in force during the period of leave. The employer is required to return this sum to the employee within 10 days following their return to work.
  • RIPFMLA rights: The employer can’t punish the employee in any way for using their RIPFMLA rights and can’t interfere with their ability to use their rights under the law


How to apply for RIPFMLA:

  • Notify your employer of your need for leave. You'll need to get your loved one's health care provider to certify their health condition and need for care. Your employer will then provide you with notices and forms to fill out and return to them. 
  • If you know in advance when your leave will start, tell your employer at least 30 days before that date. If a medical emergency prevents you from giving notice sooner, tell your employer as soon as possible.

More information about RIPFMLA is available in this PDF

Rhode Island Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program (TCI) 

Rhode Island TCI expands on the Federal FMLA law with:

  • A broader definition of “family member”
  • Eligibility for more workers 
  • Paid leave

Rhode Island’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance Program (TCI) provides leave to care for a:

  • Child (biological, adopted, foster, stepchild, legal ward, and child of domestic partner. Employees who stand :in loco parentis” to a child can also take time off for that child.)
  • Spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • Parent (biological, adopted, foster, stepparent, legal guardian, parent-in-law, and “in loco parentis”)
  • Grandparent

RI TCI eligibility includes:

  • Nearly all private sector employees are covered by Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI), including those who commute from out of state 
  • Exceptions: federal, state, and some municipal employees, as well as partners and non-incorporated self-employed workers

RI TCI provisions:

  • Up to 6 weeks per year of partial wage replacement benefits to:some text
    • Bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child
    • Care for a family member with a serious health condition

RI TCI Benefit Amount:

  • The weekly benefit rate will be about 60% of the employee’s average weekly wages, up to the cap. The employee may be eligible for additional benefits if they have dependent children. 
  • For claims with a Benefit Year Begin Date effective 1/1/24 or later, the maximum benefit rate is $1043 and the minimum benefit rate is $130. 

RI TCI protections:

  • Job and seniority: The employer must hold the employee’s position until they return from TCI leave, or offer them a comparable position, with the equivalent seniority, status, employment benefits, pay and other terms and conditions including fringe benefits.
  • Benefits: The employee will be able to maintain their full benefits during their leave, including healthcare benefits, at the same terms they have while working.  

How to apply for family leave in Rhode Island using TCI:

  • Give your employer 30-days’ notice in writing, unless “unforeseeable circumstances” prevail
  • Apply via the RI Department of Labor website. Or call (401) 462-8420 and choose option 1 to have an application mailed to you
  • You must apply during the first 30 days after the first day of leave is taken for caregiving or bonding


Visit the RI.gov website for the most current details about Rhode Island family leave policies. 

Note: The state, county, or city where you live may also offer short term (a few days per year) paid sick leave or paid time off that you may be able to use for caregiving. You can find short term leave information for jurisdictions in the state of Rhode Island here.

The information on this page should not be considered legal advice. Other protections may apply in your specific situation. 

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