Hawai'i has a Family Leave law that gives better protections in some situations than the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Hawai'i law does not let you to take time off for your own medical condition. Check the differences closely to find out which law will give you better coverage for your situation.

All working women (who have worked 2 weeks for an employer) have the right to be get temporary disability insurance during maternity leave and protection against pregnancy discrimination.

State workers can have paid time off when they are bone marrow and organ donors.

Hawai'i Family Leave

Hawaiian workers have a right to 4 weeks of unpaid family leave each year if:

  • You work for a company with at least 100 employees (for each working day in 20 weeks in this or last year)
  • You have worked there for at least 6 months in a row (it doesn't matter how many hours you worked -- different than the federal law)
  • It doesn't matter if you are part-time, casual, temporary, on-call, intermittent, so long as you haven't quit, been fired, or laid off.
  • All employees -- state, local government, and private sector -- are covered.
  • Independent contractors are not covered.

You can take family leave for:

  • within a year of the birth or adoption of a child (federal FMLA includes time off for placement of a foster child)
  • the serious health condition of your child (including foster kids, step-child, and any child you have legal guardianship for). Unlike the federal law, you can take leave for an adult child.
  • the serious health condition of your husband, wife, mother, father, grandparent, step-parent, parent-in-law, and grandparent-in-law (this is a longer list of family members than the federal law)
  • the serious health condition of your registered reciprocal beneficiary (domestic partner who is registered with the state)
  • a serious health condition means that your medical condition needs inpatient care or continuing treatment

Rules for family leave:

  • After your leave, you have a right to go back to your old job, or an equivalent one with the same benefits, pay, and conditions (unless you would've been laid off anyway).
  • You can decide to use up to 10 accrued sick days, if you have them.
  • Either you or your boss can decide to substitute accrued leave time for the rest of the family leave.
  • You can use the leave all at once or intermittently (from time to time in hour increments, like for medical treatments or to bond with a new child). This is different than the federal law which doesn't let you use intermittent leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Intermittent leave means your leave is broken up (for example, to accommodate medical appointments or physical therapy).
  • If both the husband or wife work at the same place, they both have rights to use their Hawai'i Family Leave (unlike the federal law which can make a husband and wife share the same leave).
  • You have to tell your boss ahead of time (30 days, if possible) that you are going to need family leave. Also, it can really help if your bosses feels like you're keeping them informed. Your boss can require that you tell him in writing. It's a good idea to give notice in writing so there is no confusion and you have proof.
  • You have to follow your boss' rules for taking leave, stay in touch with them about your return to work date, and get them medical certification, if they want it.
  • If you are covered by the federal FMLA, you still have rights to time off after the 4 weeks under the Hawai'i law, since FMLA leave is longer. If you took Hawai'i family leave for a reason that's not covered by the federal FMLA, then you still have a right to all 12 weeks of FMLA.

The law: Hawai'i Family Leave Act, Hawai'i Revised Statutes § 398

                HI Administrative Rules §12-27-1, et seq

The law is enforced by the Hawai'i Wage Standards Division.

Pregnancy and Maternity leave:

  • All women who work in Hawaii have a right to take maternity leave while disabled by pregnancy or childbirth.
  • You have a right to collect Temporary Disability Insurance while you are physically disabled from pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Maternity leave is usually 6 weeks if there are no complications. The longest you can collect TDI is for 26 weeks.
  • You can collect 58% of your pay from HI TDI.
  • You have a right not to be discriminated against because you use maternity leave.

The law is enforced by the Hawai'i Civil Rights Commission.

Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave

State and county workers can take up to 7 paid days off each year when they are bone marrow donors and up to 30 paid days off each year when they are organ donors.

The law: Hawai'i Revised Statutes §78-23.6