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Rhode Island State Employment Laws

The state of Rhode Island has restrictions on what can be reported in a background screening report beyond what the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dictates.

RestrictionExplanation
Ban the Box: Use of criminal record only at/after interviewEffective 01/01/2014 Rhode Island became a "ban the box" state. This law provides that all employers may not inquire about “convictions” until the first job interview or thereafter. The statute also affects public employers.

See the statute here for more information.

Notable Exceptions: There are exceptions for some employers: 1) Where federal or state laws/regulations create disqualifications based upon conviction of certain crimes. [Consider financial institutions where convictions for dishonesty create a disqualification.] The application may ask for information on these types of convictions the employer must consider but no others. 2) If the position requires a “standard fidelity bond” (not defined) that disqualifies coverage if certain convictions have occurred, then the application can inquire about these types of convictions but no others.
Ban the Box: State Public EmployeesEffective 01/01/2014 public employers may not inquire about “convictions” until the first job interview or thereafter.

See the statute here for more information.

Notable Exceptions: There are exceptions for some employers: 1) Where federal or state laws/regulations create disqualifications based upon conviction of certain crimes. [Consider financial institutions where convictions for dishonesty create a disqualification.] The application may ask for information on these types of convictions the employer must consider but no others. 2) If the position requires a “standard fidelity bond” (not defined) that disqualifies coverage if certain convictions have occurred, then the application can inquire about these types of convictions but no others.
Use of arrest record with no convictionNo employer, except law enforcement may ask applicant if he has been arrested. An employer may ask about convictions.

See the statute here for more information.
Use of Credit Report Employer must advise consumer that credit report has been ordered.

See the statute here for more information.
Use of Social Media Password Information An employer cannot require, coerce, or request an employee or applicant to disclose the password or any other means for accessing a personal social media account. An employer cannot compel an employee or applicant to add anyone, including the employer or agent, to the contact list associated with a personal social media account, plus require, request, or cause an employee or applicant to alter settings that affect a third party's ability to view the contents of a personal social media account.

See the statute here for more information.

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