Wage and Hour Laws in Hawaii

Hawaii rules on employee overtime, wage and hour law, and fair pay.

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What is the minimum wage in Hawaii?

As of January 1, 2015, the minimum wage in Hawaii is $7.75 per hour. The minimum wage is scheduled to increase on January 1 of the next three years. The minimum wage will be $8.50 in 2016, $9.25 in 2017, and $10.10 in 2018. 

Is the minimum wage different in Hawaii for tipped employees?

The FLSA allows employers to pay a lower hourly minimum wage, as long as that wage plus the tips the employee earns adds up to at least the full minimum wage for each hour worked. If not, the employer has to make up the difference.

Hawaii allows employers to take a tip credit for employees who make at least $20 per month in tips. In 2015, the maximum tip credit is $0.50 per hour. This means that employers must pay tipped employees at least $7.25 per hour. And, employers may only take advantage of the maximum tip credit if the employee still makes at least $7 per hour over the state minimum wage (which is equal to $14.75 in 2015). In other words, employees must average at least $7.50 per hour in tips in order for the employer to pay only $7.25 in hourly wages.

(For more information, see Nolo’s article Tips, Tip Pooling, and Tip Credits.)

When am I entitled to earn overtime?

In Hawaii, eligible employees must receive overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week. Dairy, sugarcane, and seasonal agricultural workers must receive overtime if they work more than 48 hours per week. Not every type of job is eligible for overtime, however. To learn more, see Nolo’s article Overtime Pay: Your Rights as an Employee and contact the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Am I entitled to a lunch or rest break?

Hawaii does not require employers to provide lunch or rest breaks. However, you are entitled to be paid if you have to do any work during a break (for example, if you have to cover the phones while you eat lunch). And, generally, you are entitled to be paid for any short breaks (five to 20 minutes) your employer provides; this time is considered part of your work day.

To learn more about wage and hour laws in Hawaii, contact the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

What are wage and hour laws?

Wage and hour laws set the basic standards for pay and time worked -- covering issues like minimum wage, tips, overtime, meal and rest breaks, what counts as time worked, when you must be paid, things your employer must pay for, and so on.

Where do wage and hour laws come from?

The federal wage and hour law is called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Most states also have their own wage and hour laws, and some local governments (like cities and counties) do, too. An employer who is subject to more than one law must follow the law that is most generous to the employee. For example, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, but employers in states that have set a higher minimum wage must pay the higher amount.

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Last updated on 01/01/2012.

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