Hawaii Leave Laws

April 11th 2024

Taking leave can be extremely beneficial to the well-being of employees and help create a positive and productive work environment.

This article explores the leave entitlements of employees in Hawaii, looking into the different types available.

In Hawaii, leave is divided into 2 categories: mandatory and non-mandatory. It is important to note that regulations for private and public employees may differ.

This Article Covers

Hawaii Required Leave
Hawaii Non-Required Leave

Hawaii Required Leave

There are numerous types of leave that employers in Hawaii are required to provide. These include the following:

1. Family and Medical Leave

  • Eligibility: Employers in Hawaii must comply with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides job-protected, unpaid leave to eligible employees. To qualify, employees must have worked at least 12 months and 1,250 hours for an employer. The FMLA applies to all state employers, public and private elementary or secondary school employers, and companies that have at least 50 workers. In addition, employers must comply with the Hawaii Family Leave Law (HFLL) which applies to employers with at least 100 employees. Under this state law, employers must provide unpaid leave to workers who have been employed for at least 6 consecutive months.
  • Duration: The FMLA grants up to 12 weeks of leave per year. The HFLL provides up to 4 weeks per year. Both Hawaii Family Leave and Federal Family and Medical Leave can be taken concurrently.
  • Circumstances for Utilizing Leave: A variety of situations including childbirth and looking after a new-born, fostering or adopting a child, taking care of a close family member who has a serious medical condition, and a major health issue with the employee that makes it difficult for them to perform their job.

2. Jury Duty Leave

  • Eligibility: All employees in Hawaii must be allowed to take time off when summoned for jury duty. State law protects employees from facing adverse actions from their employers for taking this leave of absence.
  • Duration: For the duration of the jury duty.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: When an employee is summoned for jury service.
  • Pay: Employers are not legally required to compensate their employees for jury duty leave.

3. Voting Time Leave

  • Eligibility: All employers must grant employees paid leave to vote. The polling hours are from 7 am to 6 pm. However, if an employee has 2 consecutive hours within this timeframe during which they are not working, they will not be eligible for leave.
  • Duration: Up to 2 hours of leave, between the hours of 7 am and 6 pm.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To exercise the right to vote on an election day.

4. Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave

  • Eligibility: If either an employee or the child of an employee, has experienced domestic or sexual abuse, their employer is required to provide them with leave.
  • Duration: Up to 30 days of unpaid leave for companies with 50 or more employees. Those working for companies with less than 50 employees are entitled to 5 days of unpaid leave.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: This leave can be utilized for receiving medical attention, counselling, collaborating with protective services, or engaging in legal proceedings.

5. Emergency Response Leave

  • Eligibility: Employers are required to grant paid leave to employees who are needed to respond to an emergency as volunteers for the American Red Cross or as part of the military. The disaster must be level 3 or higher and be declared by both the US President and the Governor as a state of emergency.
  • Duration: American Red Cross volunteers can receive up to 30 days of paid leave. Those eligible for military leave are entitled to 15 days off if summoned for disaster response duty.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To partake in emergency response operations during a major disaster.

6. Organ or Bone Marrow Donation Leave

  • Eligibility: Any employee who has decided to donate an organ or bone marrow is entitled to paid leave.
  • Duration: Up to 7 days of leave for bone marrow donations and 30 days of leave for an organ donation per year.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To donate an organ or bone marrow.

7. Military Leave

  • Eligibility: Hawaii recognizes the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which mandates that employers must grant military employees leave and the ability to return to their previous jobs. In addition, state laws mandate that employers permit members of the National Guard unlimited unpaid leave for National Guard service and for travelling to and from this service.
  • Duration: Up to 5 years of unpaid leave, in compliance with the USERRA. Unlimited unpaid leave for National Guard members.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For active duty, training, or any other type of service.

Hawaii Non-Required Leave

There are certain types of leave that are not mandatory in Hawaii. The provision of these leave benefits is determined by employers. Non-required types of leave include:

1. Bereavement Leave

As per employment regulations, bereavement leave or funeral attendance time off is not mandatory for employers to provide. However, in case a company offers these benefits, it is expected to follow the pre-existing organizational policy.

2. Sick Leave

According to the law in Hawaii, employers are not required to provide sick leave to their employees. If they do offer this benefit, it should be consistent with the company’s policies and employee employment contract. However, there may be circumstances where employers are required to provide paid sick leave in accordance with other laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act.

3. Vacation Leave

According to state law, employers in Hawaii are not required to offer paid vacation leave. However, if an employer does decide to provide this benefit, it should comply with the company’s existing policies.

4. Holiday Leave

When it comes to private employers, no law says they have to give paid time off or extra pay for working on holidays, unless it’s overtime. However, public office workers and teachers at public schools are required to take days off on holidays that are recognized by the state.

The following are the official federal holidays observed in the US:

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Day after Thanksgiving Fourth Friday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

 If you want to know more about the entitlements of employees in Hawaii, you can read our guides on your rights as a salaried employee in Hawaii, and your rights as an hourly employee in Hawaii. You can also 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.