Performance Appraisals: Hawaii
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Anna Elento-Sneed, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing
- A performance appraisal section may be included in an employee handbook, but the handbook should include a disclaimer to ensure that the performance appraisal section and any other provisions in the handbook are not interpreted as implied contractual obligations. See Performance Appraisals Section in the Employee Handbook.
- Employers should avoid making promises about performance improvement and action plans if they cannot or may not be able to keep those promises. See The Process of Performance Appraisals and Documenting Performance Reviews.
- Employers may need to be flexible in administering performance evaluation systems in light of Hawaii's multilingual and multicultural work force. See Communicating with Employees.
- Hawaii has more protected classifications and statutory leave protections than federal law. State law also prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers. These protections should be reviewed carefully when conducting performance evaluations. See Performance Appraisals and Discrimination.
- If an employee claims his or her performance problems are attributable to a disability, the employer must provide the employee's physician with a written job description and a copy of the regulations on reasonable accommodations during the interactive process. See Performance Appraisals and Discrimination and Accommodating Employees with Performance Problems.
- Information on employee performance should be restricted to internal discussions among managers, supervisors and other employer representatives on a need-to-know basis. See Employer Liability Regarding Performance Appraisals.
- Hawaii employers enjoy a qualified immunity from claims arising from providing job references. See Job Reference Immunity.