It may be known as Little Rhody, but the tiny state of Rhode Island comes up big now with a new tip protection law on the books. Governor Dan McKee signed H7510A into law on June 28 and it became effective immediately at that time. The law prohibits employers from retaining any portion of an employee’s tips. Further, it provides a very limited exception for credit card charges in that the employer may deduct the percentage of the sale that must be paid to the credit card company from the employee’s tip so long as three conditions are met: reduction cannot reduce employee’s earnings below minimum wage; employer must notify the employee of the deduction; and employer must pay the amount due no later than the next regular pay day. The law however, does not preclude a valid tip pool, and further provides that amounts from service charges distributed to employees do not count as tips, but employers may count those amounts toward satisfying the minimum wage and overtime obligations. The Rhode Island minimum is currently $12.25 per hour while the tipped minimum is at least $3.89 per hour so long as this amount plus tips equals $12.25/hour.