Rhode Island General Laws Title 5. Businesses and Professions § 5-23-2. Licenses for holiday business

(a) A retail establishment may be open on any day of the year except as specifically prohibited herein.  A retail establishment shall not be open on a holiday unless licensed by the appropriate town council pursuant to this section.  The city or town council of any city or town shall grant holiday licenses for the sale by retail establishments No license shall be issued on December 25 of any year or on Thanksgiving Day, except to:

(1) Pharmacies licensed under chapter 19.1 of this title;  provided, however, that no drug (as defined in § 5-19.1-2 ) or controlled substance (as defined in § 5-19.1-2 ) requiring a prescription (as defined in § 5-19.1-2 ) shall be dispensed or sold unless a licensed pharmacist-in-charge (as defined in § 5-19.1-2 ) is available on the premises;

(2) Retail establishments which principally sell food products as defined in § 44-18-30(9) and which employ fewer than six (6) employees per shift at any one location;

(3) Retail establishments principally engaged in the sale of cut flowers, floral products, plants, shrubs, trees, fertilizers, seeds, bulbs, and garden accessories;

(4) Retail establishments principally engaged in the sale and/or rental of video cassette tapes;  and

(5) Retail establishments principally engaged in the preparation and/or sale of bakery products.

(b)   Retail establishments licensed pursuant to this section may be permitted to open for business during holidays on their normal business working hours.  

(c) Retail establishments licensed pursuant to this section shall be exempt from the provisions of chapter 1 of title 25, entitled “Holidays and Days of Special Observance”, and those establishments may sell any and all items sold in the ordinary course of business with the exception of alcoholic beverages.

(d) All employees engaged in work during Sundays or holidays pursuant to the provisions of this section shall receive from their employer no less than time and a half for the work so performed and shall be guaranteed at least a minimum of four (4) hours employment;  except those employees referred to in § 28-12-4.3(a)(4) , provided that the work performed by the employee is strictly voluntary and refusal to work for any retail establishment on a Sunday or holiday is not a ground for discrimination, dismissal, or discharge or any other penalty upon the employee.  The city or town council may fix and cause to be paid into the city or town treasury for each license issued pursuant to this section a fee not to exceed the sum of one hundred dollars ($100) and may fix the time or times when the license granted terminates;  provided, that the city or town council shall not charge a licensing fee to any charitable, benevolent, educational, philanthropic, humane, patriotic, social service, civic, fraternal, police, fire, labor, or religious organization which is not operated for profit.

(e) Retail establishments engaged principally in the preparation and/or sale of bakery products and pharmacies shall be licensed prior to the sale of those products in accordance with this section;  provided, that the time and one half and voluntary work provisions do not apply.

(f) Each city or town council shall fix, limit and specify those rules, regulations, and conditions relating to the granting, holding and exercising those licenses as it deems necessary or advisable and as are not inconsistent with law, and may suspend or revoke any license granted by it for more than two (2) violations of those rules, regulations, and conditions, during a calendar year.

(g) Each city or town shall grant Class A licenses authorizing retail establishments which sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off of the premises within its jurisdiction to sell on Sundays, alcoholic beverages in accordance with the terms of this chapter and that of title 3 of the general laws, provided that it shall not permit such sale prior to the hour of twelve noon (12:00 p.m.) or on Christmas day, if Christmas shall occur on a Sunday;  provided further, that no employee shall be required to work and refusal to work on a Sunday shall not be the grounds for discrimination, dismissal, discharge, deduction of hours, or any other penalty.

FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.