Senate passes Sen. Cano’s bill to protect janitors, security staff in Rhode Island


            STATE HOUSE – The Senate today passed legislation (2022-S 2412) sponsored by Sen. Sandra Cano which will provide wage protections to janitorial and security workers in Rhode Island.

            “Many of the workers affected by this bill have physically dangerous and demanding jobs at the best of times. During the pandemic, those risks have multiplied. They deserve to be fairly compensated for their work and for the risks to which they are exposed every day. Their work keeps the rest of us safe, and their wages should better reflect how much we rely on them,” said Senator Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket).

            The bill, which passed the Senate last year, requires that the standard wage be the highest of the rate determined by the U.S. Department of Labor for Providence County under the Service Contract Act of 1965; or the wage established by the largest collective bargaining agreement covering at least 100 building service employees performing either janitorial or security guard services, as applicable, in Providence County; or at least $15 per hour. It would also require that overtime rates of 1½ times the hourly wage be paid for work beyond 40 hours a week or eight hours in a single day.

            The bill would apply to all contracts entered into by any state entity that include $1,000 or more of janitorial or security services, and includes provisions to fine violators and allow civil action by victims of violations.

            The legislation now heads to the House for consideration where Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence) has introduced the bill (2022-H 7200).