Like employers in every state, Hawaii employers must comply with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows eligible employees to take unpaid leave, with the right to reinstatement, for certain reasons.
Hawaii law gives employees additional leave rights, as explained below. Employees are entitled to the protections of all applicable laws; if more than one law applies, the employee may use the most beneficial provisions.
Eligible employees in Hawaii may take up to 12 weeks of leave for serious health conditions, bonding with a new child, or preparation for a family member's military service; more leave is available for employees who need to care for a family member who was seriously injured on active military duty. For detailed information on FMLA leave, see Taking Family and Medical Leave.
Hawaii employers must follow the FMLA if they have at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year.
Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if:
FMLA leave is available if an employee needs time off to:
Hawaii employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for a serious health condition, bonding with a new child, or qualifying exigencies. This leave is available every 12 months, as long as the employee continues to meet the eligibility requirements explained above.
Employees who need military caregiver leave may take up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period. However, this leave is a per-injury, per-service member entitlement. Unless the same family member is injured again, or another family member suffers an injury while on active duty, an employee may not take an additional leave for this purpose.
Employees are entitled to continue their health insurance while on leave, at the same cost they must pay while working. FMLA leave is unpaid, but employees may be allowed (or required) to use their accrued paid leave during FMLA leave.
When an employee’s FMLA leave ends, the employee is entitled to be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position, with a few exceptions.
In addition to the rights granted by the FMLA, Hawaii employees are protected by state law.
Employers with at least 100 employees must allow eligible employees to take up to four weeks of leave in any calendar year to:
Hawaii employers must allow eligible employees to take a reasonable period of leave while they are disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. How much time is reasonable is to be determined by the employee's physician.
Covered employers must allow eligible employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or who have a minor child who is a victim of these crimes, to take a reasonable period of leave to:
A reasonable period of leave is up to 30 days in a calendar year, if the employer has at least 50 employees. Smaller employers may offer up to five days off in a year.
Hawaii is one of a handful of states that offers a state temporary disability insurance program. Eligible employees who are unable to work due to a temporary disability (including pregnancy) can receive compensation under the program. Employers may self-insure by adopting a particular type of sick/disability leave program.
You can find information on Hawaii’s leave programs at the website of the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.