Employee Communications: Hawaii
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Anna Elento-Sneed, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing
- Employee handbooks and other writings which promise specific treatment in specific circumstances will be construed as implied contracts unless they include explicit disclaimers that state the document is not a contract. See Communications Spectrum and Handbooks, Policies and Procedures.
- Employers should use a variety of techniques to ensure effective communication with Hawaii's multilingual and multicultural work force. See Communications Spectrum; Meetings and Other Discussions and Dissemination of Policies and Procedures to Employees
- Drivers on Oahu are prohibited from communicating by phone without a hands-free alternative. See Communications Spectrum and Electronic Communications.
- Employers must provide employees with written summaries of certain policies and procedures. There are also a number of posters that must be placed in the worksite. See Required Communications and Forms, Letters and Acknowledgements.
- Hawaii's State Constitution includes a right to privacy. There are also state laws restricting access to and prohibiting disclosure of medical records, HIV, AIDS and AIDS-related complex (ARC) information, social security numbers and other personal information. See Communicating Sensitive Information and Confidentiality and Privacy Considerations.
- Employers may be held liable for defamation if they knowingly make false statements to third parties about employees that result in injuries to the employees. See Communicating Sensitive Information and Defamation Claims.
- Hawaii prohibits employers from discriminating or discharging whistleblowers. However, employers may prevent employees from disclosing trade secrets and other confidential information through the use of confidentiality and noncompete agreements. See Communicating Sensitive Information and Restrictions on Employee Communications.