Employee Handbooks - Work Rules - Employee Conduct: Hawaii
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Anna Elento-Sneed, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing
- Hawaii is an at-will state. However, employee handbooks are construed as implied contracts absent clear and conspicuous disclaimers stating otherwise. See Guidelines for Employee Handbooks, Work Rules and Policies.
- Employers must provide written notices to employees of employer policies and procedures. See Implementing Policies, Procedures and Work Rules.
- Employers must provide civil union partners and reciprocal beneficiaries with the same benefits and protections as married persons. Hawaii allows same-sex couples to marry and recognizes same-sex marriages from other states. See Civil Unions, Reciprocal Beneficiaries and Same-Sex Marriages.
- State law prohibits discrimination on the basis of marital status, which includes civil union partners and reciprocal beneficiaries. See Work Rules Concerning Personal Relationships and Personal Activities.
- State law prohibits discrimination against or discharge of employees who report or are about to report violations or suspected violations of law or regulation to the employer or to a government agency (whistleblowers). See Work Rules Concerning Employee Ethics, Conflicts of Interest and Employee Code of Conduct.
- Hawaii has extensive laws and regulations governing smoking in the workplace, alcohol and drug testing, and medical use of marijuana. See Work Rules Concerning Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Use.
- Physical and mental injuries resulting from violence, horseplay or harassment in the workplace are compensable under the Hawaii Workers' Compensation Law. See Work Rules Regarding Violence.
- Gambling of any form is prohibited in business establishments. See Gambling.
- Employers may not base employment actions on whether an employee has been arrested. Convictions may be considered if the conviction is recent and rationally related to the employee's job duties and responsibilities. See Arrest or Conviction for a Crime.
- Hawaii prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, and on ancestry (cultural characteristics). This may affect dress and appearance standards. See Work Rules Regulating Employee Dress, Grooming and Personal Appearance.
- Employers must notify employees in writing of their pay days. State law also regulates split shifts and pay days. See Work Rules Regarding Employee Work Schedules and Shifts.
- Hawaii has several statutorily mandated leaves of absence. Employers may not discipline or discharge employees for taking such leaves. See Work Rules Regarding Attendance, Tardiness and Timekeeping.