Hawaii Break Laws

April 11th 2024

While some states in the US have specific break regulations, Hawaii does not have one. Employers in Hawaii are not mandated to provide meal periods or rest breaks to adult employees. If an employer provides break entitlements as part of their custom or company policy, they must adhere to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

This article elaborates on the specific provisions of Hawaii labor laws, particularly regarding breaks.

This article covers:

Rest Breaks in Hawaii

Employers in Hawaii are not obligated to provide rest breaks to adult employees. Only minors aged 14 and 15 are entitled to rest breaks. However, if an employer decides to give rest breaks, federal law mandates that breaks of 20 minutes or less must be considered hours worked and paid.

Meal Breaks in Hawaii

Hawaii employers are only obligated to provide meal breaks to minor employees aged 14 and 15. Employees who are 16 years of age or older are not legally entitled to meal breaks. However, if an employer provides a meal break, the break is not paid if it lasts for 30 minutes or more or if the employee is completely relieved of their duties during that period.

Breastfeeding Breaks in Hawaii

In Hawaii, there is legislation protecting and supporting nursing mothers from breastfeeding or expressing breast milk at the workplace. According to Hawaii Revised Statutes §378-92, an employer must provide the following to allow nursing mothers to express breast milk:

  • A reasonable break period each time the employee needs to express breast milk.
  • Employees may use this break entitlement for one year after the child’s birth.
  • A comfortable and private location, other than a bathroom, for employees to use in expressing breast milk.

However, businesses with fewer than 20 employees may request an exemption from this regulation if providing such accommodations poses financial or undue hardship to the business.

Break Obligations for Minor Employees in Hawaii

According to the Hawaii Child Labor Law, employees who are minors aged 14 to 15 must be given a 30-minute rest break or meal period after working for five consecutive hours. Employers are required to follow this law to ensure the safety and well-being of their minor employees.

Penalties for Employers in Hawaii Violating Break Laws

Employers in Hawaii who fail to comply with labor laws, particularly in terms of wages and breaks, may face penalties. Employers may face a penalty and fines ranging from $100 to $10,000 or imprisonment for up to one year, or both, for each offense. This includes cases where an employer discriminates against an employee for raising concerns about wage violations, filing complaints, or participating in legal proceedings related to such violations.

These penalties are designed to ensure compliance with break laws and to prevent employers from engaging in practices that violate employees’ rights regarding labor laws.

Learn more about Hawaii Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.