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Involuntary Terminations: Hawaii

Involuntary Terminations requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Anna Elento-Sneed, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing

Summary

  • Hawaii employers are prohibited from terminating employees due to an arrest that does not result in a conviction. See Termination Due to Criminal Arrests.
  • Hawaii employers are generally prohibited from terminating employees due to the contents of a credit report, with some narrow exceptions. See Termination Due to Credit History.
  • Hawaii employers are prohibited from terminating employees because they filed a claim for workers' compensation. See Termination Due to Workers' Compensation Claims.
  • Some large employers are prohibited from terminating employees because they have accrued or used available paid sick leave, with one major exception. See Termination Due to Use of Leave.
  • Hawaii has its own plant closing notice law that requires employers to satisfy obligations toward employees and government officials over and above the requirements of the federal WARN Act. See Layoffs, Reductions in Force and Plant Closings.
  • State law prohibits retaliatory terminations of whistleblowers and employees who file or participate in discrimination investigations. See Retaliation.
  • Courts will follow the terms of a contract when reviewing terminations of employees with express written contracts. See Terminating Special Classes of Employees.
  • Courts will look for promises of specific treatment in specific circumstances in implied contract cases. See Terminating Special Classes of Employees.
  • Termination of independent contractors is risky. Under Hawaii law, employment is presumed and it is the employer's burden to prove that an employee is an independent contractor rather than an employee. See Terminating Special Classes of Employees.