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Minimum Wage in Rhode Island in 2023

Last Updated on:

25 January 2023
Minimum Wage in Rhode Island

The minimum wage is a baseline wage rate set by the government for all employees. The federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour. It applies nationally and at the state and local levels unless the state or local authorities institute a higher minimum wage. 

Compared to the federal minimum wage, Rhode Island's is pretty high due to the high cost of living in the state. The lowest minimum wage is set at $13.00, and it applies to all cities within the state. It's set to increase by one dollar per year till 2025.

In the United States, minimum wage laws are regulated through federal law. This article will cover everything you need to know about minimum wage in Rhode Island – including its current rate, how it differs from other states and localities, who qualifies for minimum wage in Rhode Island, exemptions related to it, and what changes have occurred historically with respect to this critical labor law matter.

What is the Minimum Wage in Rhode Island?

The statewide minimum hourly pay rate set by federal and state laws currently stands at $13.00 per hour. With certain exceptions, this makes it mandatory for employers to pay their workers no less than this amount. 

Otherwise, they may face steep penalties enforced by both federal and state bodies responsible for monitoring compliance with labor regulations. 

Rhode Island Weekly Minimum Wage

Employers must also ensure they keep up with weekly minimum wages, which stand at $520 per week before taxes - regardless of whether an employee works full-time or part-time during any given work week as long as they meet the 40 hours.

Rhode Island Overtime Minimum Wage

Overtime rates are also stipulated according to both Federal Law & State legislation. The overtime pay stands at one-and-a-half times the regular hourly wages of an employee. 

Employees who work over 8 hours in a 24-hour day or more than 40 hours within a seven-day work week will be entitled to overtime pay for the additional hours. 

Tipped Minimum Wage in Rhode Island

Employees who earn tips as part of their income are entitled to a minimum wage rate of $3.89 per hour in Rhode Island. However, they must ensure that when tips and their wages are combined, they add up to $13; if they don’t, the employer is responsible for making up the difference.

How is Rhode Island Minimum Wage Different From the Federal Minimum Wage?

Under federal law, wages are set on a national level, and states can choose whether or not they want to align with it. States are free to create their own legislation that sets an even higher rate than the one established by Congress.

Rhode Island has laws that dictate its own minimum hourly rate ($12.25), which stands higher than the federal minimum wage ($7.25). As such, employers within the state's borders must comply with the minimum wage rate set by the state government. 

Local Minimum Wages in Rhode Island

The Department of Labor & Training (DLT) also allows local municipalities across different areas within Rhode Island boundaries to determine their own minimum hourly rates.

However, they should remain above what has been determined statewide while still complying with all necessary labor regulations, stipulations & requirements. This helps prevent any employer from facing unfair legal repercussions if accused of non-compliance activities involving minimum wage-related legal matters. 

Who Qualifies for Minimum Wage in Rhode Island?

Most full-time workers aged 18 and above who hold jobs falling under nonexempt categories according to both federal & state jurisdiction qualify for minimum wage payments regardless of whether they're hired on permanent contracts or part-time basis. However, there are some exceptions.

Minimum Wage Exemptions in Rhode Island

Certain occupations & activities are exempt from minimum wage regulations across both the federal and state level. These usually apply to the following:

  • Minors who are in trainee programs and student employment. For instance, minors under 16 years are paid 75% of the minimum wage, i.e.$9.75 per hour. Students under 19 years are paid 90% of the minimum wage, $12.35 per hour.
  • Domestic workers.
  • Children employed by parents or vice versa.
  • Employees working at seasonal workplaces such as summer camps.
  • Volunteer activities where workers give their services freely without expecting any monetary reward.

It's important to note that not all exemptions will apply to every situation, so it's best to check with local authorities for clarification on those matters. 

Historical Change of Minimum Wage in Rhode Island

The minimum hourly rate set by federal legislation has remained unchanged since 2009, when it last rose from $6.55 an hour to $7.25 per hour, and it remains at that level to this day. 

Meanwhile, states such as Rhode Island have been more proactive & determined to keep up with economic changes over time by adjusting their own minimum wage rules from time to time. 

The table below gives you a snapshot into the minimum wage changes in Rhode Island over the years. 


Minimum Wage Changes


























1. What is the Current Minimum Wage in Rhode Island?

The statewide minimum hourly rate currently stands at $13 per hour, effective 1 January 2023.

2. Who qualifies for Minimum Wage payments?

Most full-time workers above 18 years holding jobs falling under both federal & state jurisdiction qualify for minimum wage.

Yes. Certain occupations & activities may be exempt. These include internships, trainee programs, and volunteer activities. However, it's best to check with local authorities for clarification.  

4. How Much Does a Minimum Wage Worker in Rhode Island Earn Per Year?

On average, a 40-hour work week translates into around 2160 hours over 12 months. Thus, calculating salary expectations based on this information would mean an annual income roughly equal to approximately $25,480 before deductions assuming no overtime payments or additional bonuses are applied.

5. What is the Hourly Rate for Minors in Rhode Island?

Minors under 18 years old must be paid the standard minimum wage. However, the first 90 days are paid a wage training of $4.25. On the other hand, high school and college students must be paid at least 85% of the minimum wage, which is $11.05 per hour. And are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week when school is in progress.

6. Is the Minimum Wage in Rhode Island Expected to Increase?

The state plans to increase the minimum wage by a dollar a year until 2025 when it will be $15.00.

Josh Evan

Written by:

Josh Evan

Josh Evan is the professional career counselor and career development writer at When Work Works. He loves to see people from this field succeed through initiating the right thing in the right way. He never tells; he shows the way. We appointed John not because of his impressive CV. It was his counseling charisma which stood out of everything. He can implant idea, confidence and productive thoughts into mind almost effortlessly. His pen and mouth both speak for the greater good.

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