An employer shall not discharge, threaten, or otherwise discriminate against an employee regarding the employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges of employment:

Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 28-50-3

  • Employee: means a person employed by any employer, and shall include, but not be limited to, at-will employees, contract employees and independent contractors. See Rhode Island General Laws 28-50-2
  • Employer: means any person, partnership, association, sole proprietorship, corporation or other business entity, including any department, agency, commission, committee, board, council, bureau, or authority or any subdivision thereof in state or municipal government. See Rhode Island General Laws 28-50-2
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • in writing: include printing, engraving, lithographing, and photo-lithographing, and all other representations of words in letters of the usual form. See Rhode Island General Laws 43-3-16
  • Person: means an individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association, or any other legal entity. See Rhode Island General Laws 28-50-2
  • Public body: means all of the following:

    (i) A state officer, employee, agency, department, division, bureau, board, commission, council, authority, or other body in the executive branch of state government. See Rhode Island General Laws 28-50-2

  • Supervisor: means any individual to whom an employer has given the authority to direct and control the work performance of the affected employee or any individual who has the authority to take corrective action regarding the violation of a law, rule or regulation about which the employee complains. See Rhode Island General Laws 28-50-2
  • United States: include the several states and the territories of the United States. See Rhode Island General Laws 43-3-8

(1) Because the employee, or a person acting on behalf of the employee, reports or is about to report to a public body, verbally or in writing, a violation which the employee knows or reasonably believes has occurred or is about to occur, of a law or regulation or rule promulgated under the law of this state, a political subdivision of this state, or the United States, unless the employee knows or has reason to know that the report is false, or

(2) Because an employee is requested by a public body to participate in an investigation, hearing, or inquiry held by that public body, or a court action, or

(3) Because an employee refuses to violate or assist in violating federal, state or local law, rule or regulation, or

(4) Because the employee reports verbally or in writing to the employer or to the employee’s supervisor a violation, which the employee knows or reasonably believes has occurred or is about to occur, of a law or regulation or rule promulgated under the laws of this state, a political subdivision of this state, or the United States, unless the employee knows or has reason to know that the report is false. Provided, that if the report is verbally made, the employee must establish by clear and convincing evidence that the report was made.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1995, ch. 308, § 2; P.L. 1999, ch. 104, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 190, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 50, § 1.)