Rhode Island has enacted legislation (House Bill 5855) that amends the state’s Whistle Blowers' Protection Act (the Act). House Bill 5855 is effective immediately.
The Act prohibits employers from retaliating against at-will employees, contract employees, and independent contractors who engage in whistleblowing activities protected under the law. Employers must also inform employees and post notices regarding their rights under the Act.
HOUSE BILL 5855:
House Bill 5855 amends the Act by:
- Extending whistleblower protections to applicants and prospective employees.
- Increasing the penalties employers may face if they are found to have violated the law.
- Prohibiting employers from reporting or threatening to report an employee's immigration status to Immigration and Customs Enforcement or any other immigration agency or law enforcement agency, including local and state police.
- Requiring employers to post their notices in prominent locations in all languages known to be spoken by employees.
Rhode Island employers should review their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with House Bill 5855.
Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.