As of 2022, the minimum cash wage is $10.10 per hour, an amount greater than the federal minimum wage. This wage rate means that employers have to choose the higher amount to give their employees.
It was 2008 when the government of Hawaii last changed its minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, increasing it by $2.85.
Hawaii’s current minimum wage rate is $10.10.
For more information on Hawaii’s minimum wage laws, visit our Hawaii Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.
Related topic covered on other pages include:
Hawaii labor laws require employers to pay employees overtime at a rate of 1½ time their regular rate of pay when they work over 40 hours in a workweek. HI Wage and Hour Laws. Federal overtime laws may also apply. For federally-defined exemption and other federal overtime laws see FLSA: Overtime.
Employees have no limits on the number of hours they can work in a workweek. Those working on state or county construction projects are eligible for overtime pay after working eight hours a day. Moreover, all worked hours over the weekend and on state holidays are considered overtime.
Under certain circumstances, employers in Hawaii may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates.
Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Hawaii Wage Standards Division, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.
The prevailing wage law of Hawaii mandates that employees be paid the combined regular wage rate and fringe benefits. Employers must itemize the provided fringe benefits when paying employees at the prevailing wage rate.
Meals and Breaks
Hawaii labor laws require employer to grant a meal period of at least 30 minutes to employees 14 or 15 years of age after five (5) consecutive hours of work. HI Statute 390-2(c)(3).
Hawaii does not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees 16 years of age or older, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks.
However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods.
The only Hawaii law requiring breaks is the one in the Hawaii Child Labor Law about mandatory breaks for minors working for five consecutive hours. Other than that, you will not find any law requiring rest and meal breaks.
An unpaid 30-minute lunch break is possible for an 8.5-hour shift if an employer offers this benefit.
Nursing Mother Breaks
Hawaii labor laws require employers to provide employees who are nursing mothers with reasonable breaks times to express breast milk up until the child is one year old unless:
- the employer has fewer than 20 employees and
- doing so would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer
Employers must provide nursing mother employees with location to express breast milk that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public. Bathrooms do not meet the minimum standards for the nursing mothers location.
Whether an employer will suffer an undue hardship involves how significant the difficulty or expense of meeting the legal standard for nursing mother breaks will be related to such factors as:
- the size of the business
- its financial resources
- the nature and structure of its operation
The United States Breastfeeding Committee has released some guidelines on the Rights of Breastfeeding Employees in Hawaii. It aims to help employees identify their rights while informing employers of their obligations.
Since Hawaii has several laws on breastfeeding, the employee and employer must determine which law applies to their situation. Employers must observe the law providing the strongest employee protection and use it as a guide.
Employers don’t have a legal obligation to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave benefits to their employees in Hawaii. If an employer wants to offer these benefits, they must follow the terms indicated in the employment contract.
Also, employers must provide written notification of these vacation policy terms at the time of hiring or have it posted in a visible location.
Information about Hawaii vacation leave laws may now be found on our Hawaii Leave Laws page.
Under the Hawaii state law, employers must have at least 100 employees to provide leave of up to four weeks to eligible workers.They can use these leave benefits to care for any family member or a newborn or adopted child.
Like in other states, Hawaii employers must conform to the federal ruling indicated in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), providing unpaid leave to eligible employees.
Under the federal FMLA law, eligible employees can take a leave of absence of up to 12 weeks for serious health problems, preparation for military service of a family member, or bonding with a child.
Information about Hawaii sick leave laws may now be found on our Hawaii Leave Laws page.
There is no Hawaii law asking private employers to give their employees holiday leave benefits, whether paid or not. Private employers in Hawaii can ask their employees to work during holidays without the need to pay premium wages.
Employees may receive 1.5 times their regular minimum wage if they work past the 40-hour workweek. Nonetheless, most employers observe seven paid holidays in a year.
Information about Hawaii holiday leave laws may now be found on our Hawaii Leave Laws page.
Jury Duty Leave
In Hawaii, employers must provide employees with unpaid time off for attending jury duties. A worker may be required to show the jury summons for leave approval.
Employers cannot coerce, discharge, penalize, or threaten their employees for responding to jury duties. However, if responding to jury summons would cause difficulties for the employer and your work operation, you may be excused from your jury duties.
Information about Hawaii jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Hawaii Leave Laws page.
If an employee is working on election day, his employer must grant him two hours max off from work to cast his vote. Employers must not penalize their employees for being out of the office for two hours. They cannot and should not reschedule their working hours or make salary deductions.
Information about Hawaii voting leave laws may now be found on our Hawaii Leave Laws page.
Labor laws in Hawaii do not demand employers to offer severance pay to their employees. If they want to, they must comply with the employment contract terms. However, employers must pay his total final wages upon termination.
Hawaii labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
Under certain circumstances, Hawaii residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Hawaii State Unemployment Benefits.
If you qualify for unemployment benefits, you may receive weekly benefits from $5 to $639 for 26 weeks tops.
Other Topics and Resources
There are several other Hawaii labor laws governing the employers and their workplaces. Below are those topics and resources:
- Hawaii child labor laws for children 17 years of age and younger including topics including work during school hours and summer hours, school days and non-school days, summer days of employment (usually June 1 to Labor Day), hour restrictions, work permits, and hazardous occupations.
- The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission enforces and protects employees workplace civil rights and against discrimination and retaliation. Employees are also protected by federal discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The state and federal discrimination laws offer employees protections and violations based on the following:
|Disability (a mental or physical impairment)
|Sex, including sexual harassment
|Pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions
|Domestic Violence or Sexual Violence Victim Status
|Arrest and court record
|Reproductive health decision
|National guard participation
- Hawaii labor laws regarding wage payment laws including covering frequency and manner of wage payments, regular paydays, payday, pay periods, deductions, direct deposit and payroll cards, wage statement, record keeping, final paychecks, and notice requirements.
- Hawaii labor laws regarding minimum wage and overtime exemptions covering non-exempt employees and exempt employees.
- Hawaii labor law regarding hours worked including rest breaks, meal breaks, on-call, waiting, travel, sleeping, and meeting times.
- The Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health (HIOSH) helps employer comply with laws and regulations regarding workplace safety and health. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) which covers federal workplace safety and health requirements.
- Active duty employees, including those in the national guard, and veterans may also be eligible for military leave under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
- Hawaii Disability Compensation Division manages workers’ compensation in Hawaii and worker compensation insurance claims and enforcement. Employees who are injured on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that minimizes the financial impact on the employee.
- Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, employers in Hawaii are required to provide 60-day advanced notice to any employees that may be impacted by a business closing or mass layoff if 50 or more employees will be impacted.
- If Hawaii employers provide employees health insurance benefits, they must comply with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) that provides health coverage protections to employees under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events.
- Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers must provide applicants and employees prior notice before conducting background checks involving credit reports. Other rules and limitation may also apply.