Hawaii’s current minimum cash wage is $12.00 per hour. This is according to HI Wage Standards Division – Minimum Wage and Overtime.
Hawaii increases the minimum wage incrementally as follows:
- January 1, 2024 – $14.00
- January 1, 2026 – $16.00
- January 1, 2028 – $18.00
Hawaii employers must also comply with federal minimum wage laws which currently set the federal minimum wage at $7.25. See FLSA: Minimum Wage.
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Tip Minimum Wage
As a matter of minimum wage compliance, Hawaii allows employers to credit $1.00 of the tips earned by a tipped employee towards its obligation to pay minimum wage when the tipped employee earns at least $7.00 in tips. This results in a tip minimum wage rate for qualifying tipped employees of $11.00. At the same time, it also means that the tipped employee must earn at least $19.00 per hour when wages, tips, and the tip credit are added. HI Statute 387-2; HI Department of Labor and Industrial Relations: Notice to Employees.
If an employee does not earn at least $19.00 when wages, tips, and the tip credit are added, the employer cannot take the tip credit and must pay the tipped employee the standard minimum wage of $12.00 per hour.
Beginning January 1, 2024, the tip credit for tipped employees will increase as follows:
|Date||Tip Credit||Minimum Tips||Minimum Wage – Tip Credit||Total Minimum Wage|
|January 1, 2024||$1.25||$7.00||$12.75||$21.00|
|January 1, 2026||$1.25||$7.00||$14.75||$23.00|
|January 1, 2028||$1.50||$7.00||$16.50||$25.00|
Employees are considered tipped employees and may be paid the tipped wage rate if they work in an occupation where employees customarily and regularly receive more than $20 a month in tips and, in fact, receive more than $20 a month in tips. HI Statute 387-2; HI Admin Rules 12-20-11(e)
A tipped employee will remain as such even should the employee’s tips drop below $20 a month due to sickness, vacation, or the like. Additionally, an employee can be determined a “tipped” employee during the beginning or end of employment if that employee receives more than $20 in tips during a particular week or weeks of a month. HI Admin Rules 12-20-11(e)
Employers are required to inform their employees at the time of hiring if they will be paid the tipped wage rate. Once employers have decided to pay employees the tipped wage, they may discontinue paying the tipped wage only if it is permanent and not created to avoid legal requirements. If an employer changes its tipped wage policy, it must notify employees of the change either in writing or posted in the workplace prior to the next pay period. HI Admin Rules 12-20-11(c)
When an employer has an employee working in two or more different occupations for that employer, the employer may only pay the tipped wage rate for the hours worked in the occupation where the employee customarily and regularly received a minimum of $20 a month in tips. HI Admin Rules 12-20-11(b)
Tip Pooling and Sharing
Hawaii law allows employees to participate in tip pooling, although it is unclear whether an employer may require their participation.
When they participate in tip pool or splitting arrangements, employees are only deemed to be a tipped employee to the extent of their proportionate share of the tips received.
When a tip-pooling arrangement has been mutually agreed upon by the employees, and the employer redistributes the tips among the employees, the actual amount received by each employee is to be considered tips for that employee.Check HI Admin Rules 12-20-11(a) for more information.
Employees with Disabilities
As of June 16, 2021, Hawaii’s minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay employees with disabilities a subminimum wage.Instead, employers must pay employees with disabilities the standard minimum wage for all hours worked. This is according to HI Senate Bill 793 (HI Statute §387-9(a)(2)).
Hawaii minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay trainees a wage rate lower than the standard minimum wage.
Hawaii law does not permit employers to pay apprentices a wage rate less than the standard minimum wage.
They must pay employees at minimum the standard minimum wage set forth by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act unless there are other federal or state requirements that they are paid more. HI Admin Rules 12-30-6(2)(E)
Hawaii’s minimum wage laws allow the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to issue rules providing for special certificates that allow employers to pay learners a subminimum wage rate that is lower than the standard minimum wage. HI Statute §387-9(a)(1)
Hawaii minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student learners a wage rate lower than the standard minimum wage.
Hawaii’s minimum wage laws allow the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to issue rules providing for special certificates that allow employers to pay certain student workers who work part-time a subminimum wage rate that is lower than the standard minimum wage. HI Statute §387-9(a)(1)