Employment Discrimination in Hawaii

Avoid employment discrimination against protected classes in Hawaii.

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What are the protected classes in Hawaii?

In all 50 states, federal law makes it illegal to discriminate based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
  • Disability
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information

In addition, Hawaii state law also prohibits discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and related medical conditions)
  • Disability: physical or mental
  • Age
  • Genetic information
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity and gender expression
  • Marital status
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Arrest and court record (unless there is a conviction directly related to job)
  • Credit history or credit report (unless credit information directly relates to a bona fide occupational qualification)
  • Status as a victim of domestic or sexual violence (if the victim notifies the employer, or the employer has actual knowledge, of the victim's status)

How many employees must a company in Hawaii have to be subject to antidiscrimination laws?

Under federal law, companies with 15 or more employees are covered by Title VII, the primary law prohibiting employment discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination based on genetic information. Companies with 20 or more employees are subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the federal law that prohibits discrimination against employees 40 years or older. Companies with four or more employees must comply with the employment discrimination provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of citizenship status. And all companies of any size must pay men and women equally for doing equal work, by virtue of the Equal Pay Act.

In Hawaii, companies with one or more employees are subject to the state's antidiscrimination law.

What government agency regulates workplace discrimination in Hawaii?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that regulates workplace discrimination. You can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by calling 800-669-4000 or check out its website at www.eeoc.gov. The website will help you locate an EEOC field office in Hawaii.

The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission enforces state antidiscrimination law in Hawaii. You can contact the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission at 808-586-8636 (Oahu only) or 800-468-4644 x68636 (other islands) or go to its website.

For more information on employment discrimination, see The Manager's Legal Handbook, by attorneys Lisa Guerin and Amy DelPo (Nolo).

Last updated on 3/27/14

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