PROVIDENCE, R.I. — For the past three years, NELA has worked to pass legislation in Rhode Island that would exempt limousine and taxi companies from a long-standing, obscure law, which required them to pay their staff overtime for Sundays and holidays.
Board Member Eric Weiner of All Occasion Transportation, working with Attorney Anthony Leone of Leone Law LLC, and Larry White, the legislative committee chairman of NELA, worked to introduce new legislation at the state house.
This legislation would give limousine companies the same exemption that is afforded groups in the Rhode Island hospitality industry. The Senate Committee on Labor and Finance rejected the bill two years ago, due to pressure from different labor interests.
Since then, Weiner and Leone have been working with a sub-committee and members of different labor unions to come up with language that made sense and upon which all parties could agree. This language was reintroduced in February 2007. Weiner, Leone, and White testified in support of this language in front of the Committee on Labor and Finance, which recommended passage of the bill in April 2007.
The bill was sent to the floor for a vote, passed by both the Senate and the House, and sent to the Governor for his signature. The bill was then signed into law on June 20, 2007, and is now in effect, exempting limousine and taxi companies from having to pay overtime on Sundays and holidays.
“Limousine companies can now rest knowing they are exempt from these old laws,” said NELA Executive Director Rick Szilagyi.
“As everyone in this industry knows, our companies do not close on Sunday,” added Weiner. “So now, just as we treat Sundays like any other day, we can now treat the payroll for those days the same.”