Workplace Rights


Protecting Civil Liberties in Rhode Island for Over 50 Years


Workplace Rights

The workplace is where most adults spend roughly half their waking hours.  The ACLU is committed to protecting basic rights of employees in the workplace, and has a long history promoting those rights through legislation, litigation and public advocacy.

Workplace Rights in the News

  • Dec, 12, 2019: State Accused of Violating Law Banning Use of Arrest Records in Employment Decisions
  • Nov, 20, 2019: Lawsuit Settled Against Harmony Fire District Over Alleged Sex-Discriminatory Firings
  • Oct, 02, 2019: Settlement Reached in Discrimination Suit Against Newport Grand Casino

View All Workplace Rights Related News Releases »

Workplace Rights Related Court Cases

2019: Robbio v. Raimondo
Category: Active Case    Discrimination    Workplace Rights    

About this Case:
This is a discrimination complaint filed with the RI Commission for Human Rights against RI Department of Human Services for illegally using an employee’s non-conviction criminal history to terminate her employment.

Current Status:
Filed in December 2019.

Cooperating Attorney:
David Cass

Supporting Documents
2018: Borrelli v. Premier Entertainment II, LLC.
Category: Active Case    Civil Rights    Discrimination    Gender Discrimination    Women's Rights    Workplace Rights    

About This Case:
This is a sex and age discrimination lawsuit against the Newport Grand Casino on behalf of Paula Borrelli, a female employee, who claims that, for a decade, she has been paid significantly less than a younger male employee performing the same duties in the same position.

Current Status:
Lawsuit successfully settled in October 2019.

ACLU Cooperating Attorney:
Lynette Labinger

Supporting Documents

Related Legislation

Fair Employment Practices (H 7080, H 7226, S 2140) Held for Further Study
Category: 2020    Workplace Rights    

The ACLU supported two bills, H 7080 and H 7226, introduced by Representatives Camille Vella-Wilkinson and John Edwards, respectively, which would strengthen the Fair Employment Practices Act by making individual employee-supervisors, and not just the company employing them, subject to personal liability for their own acts of discrimination. This personal liability is particularly important for deterring sexual and other forms of harassment. H 7080 also positively revises the definition of employee to include elected officials, volunteers, and unpaid interns, and eliminates an archaic exemption for domestic workers.

Another bill that was recently heard and is designed to protect domestic workers – encompassing occupations such as housecleaners, nannies, and other caregiving positions – is H 7156, introduced by Representative Anastasia Williams and supported by the ACLU. It would include them as an employees for purposes of the state’s minimum wage laws.

We additionally supported S 2140, introduced by Senator Dawn Euer, which would prevent an employer from requiring an employee to sign a non-disclosure agreement as a requirement for employment.