Pay Transparency Coming to Hawaii

Author: Emily Scace, XpertHR Legal Editor

July 6, 2023

With the signature of Hawaii Gov. Josh Green, the Aloha State has become the ninth state to mandate pay transparency for employers.

Beginning January 1, 2024, Hawaii employers with 50 or more employees will be required to include a pay range in job listings. The range must reasonably reflect the employer's actual expected compensation for the role.

Although the primary purpose of the law is to address pay inequity, the law also cites efficiency in recruiting and interviewing as an ancillary benefit. By disclosing a pay range up front, it reasons that an employer has a better chance of receiving applications from candidates willing to work for the posted salary - avoiding the time spent interviewing candidates who expect to earn more than a particular role pays.

Unlike similar laws in California, Washington and New York, Hawaii's H.B. 1057 exempts internal postings for promotions or transfers within a current employer. Also exempt are public employee positions subject to collective bargaining agreements.

The enacted version of the law is more lenient than an earlier proposal, which would have mandated not only that employers disclose pay ranges but also that they actually adhere to those pay ranges when making an offer to a candidate. In addition, that proposal would have required employers to disclose pay ranges to employees upon hire and annually thereafter, which the enacted law does not require.

The law also broadens Hawaii's equal pay law to prohibit pay discrimination based on any protected characteristic. The existing law applied only to sex-based pay discrimination.

A number of pay transparency laws are pending in other states. An Illinois bill is awaiting signature by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and a Maine law is close to the finish line as well.