Hawaii Wage Payment Laws

Frequency of Wage Payments

An employer must all wages due to the employer’s employees at least twice per month, on regular paydays designated in advance by the employer. The earned wages of all employees shall be due and payable within seven (7) days after the end of each pay period.

The Hawaii Department of Labor may, upon application showing good and sufficient reasons, permit an employer to:

  • Establish regular paydays less frequently than semimonthly provided that the employee shall be paid in full at least once per month on a regularly established schedule;
  • Pay earned wages within fifteen days after the end of each pay period.

A majority of an employer’s employees or a majority of the employees in a collective bargaining unit recognized by an employer or established by law may elect, in a secret ballot election approved by the Hawaii Department of Labor, to be paid once a month on a regularly scheduled basis. The elections shall not be held more frequently than once in every two years and each election shall be valid for a period of two years.

HI Statute 388-2

Manner of Wage Payments

An employer may pay employees by

  • cash
  • check payable on demand without deduction or fee
  • direct deposit
  • pay card

HI Statute 388-2.

Direct Deposit

Hawaii labor laws allows an employer to pay an employee by direct deposit if:

  • the employee has voluntarily authorized to be paid by direct deposit either in writing or via electronic signature;
  • the deposit is made to an account and financial institution of the employee’s choice;
  • the employee may cancel the direct deposit at any time with reasonable notice;
  • the employer provides the employee with a statement wages required by HI Statute 388-7(4);
  • the employer cannot require the employee to pay any costs or fees for the direct deposit; and
  • the employer may not discipline or otherwise penalize an employee for authorizing or refusing to authorize the direct deposit.

HI Statute 388-2

Payroll Card

Hawaii labor laws allow employers to pay employees by pay card if:

  1. employers must give employees the option to be paid by by direct deposit, check, or pay card before the employee selects their preferred manner of payment;
  2. employers may not require employees to be paid by pay card;
  3. employers may not make employees pay by pay card as a condition of hire or continued employment;
  4. employees must voluntarily authorize payment by pay card in writing or via electronic signature, without intimidation, coercion, or fear of discharge or reprisal if they refuse to accept the pay card or pay card account;
  5. before to obtaining the employee’s consent to be paid by pay card, employers must provide employees in writing, in plain language in at least ten-point font:
    • a description of the employees’ options for the manner in which they may be paid;
    • the pay card fee schedule in a form that the employees may retain for the employees’ records stating the dollar amount of all fees;
    • a notice that states whether third parties may assess additional fees relating to the use of the pay card; and
    • a list of the services available to the employee pursuant to paragraph (8);
  6. employers are responsible for any fees that have been assessed against the employee outside the pay card fee schedule;
  7. employers must agree to honor a written request by the employee to change the manner of receiving wages from a pay card to another manner offered by the employer within two (2) pay periods from the time of the request;
  8. the pay card must provide for all of the following, at no cost to the employees:
    • a pay card on which the employee may receive wages, with no charges for the application, initiation, transfer, loading of wages by the employer, privilege of participation, or distribution or delivery of the initial pay card;
    • the ability during each pay period for the employees to make at least three (3) free withdrawals from the pay card, at least one (1) of which permits withdrawal of the full amount of the employees’ net wages on the card at a federally insured depository institution or at that institution’s affiliated automated teller machines;
    • the means to access the balance or other account information online and via telephone offered in conjunction with the pay card in a manner that allows access to account information twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week without charging a fee;
    • a readily accessible electronic history of the employees’ account transactions covering at least sixty days preceding the date the employee electronically accesses the account;
    • upon oral or written request or via electronic signature by the employees, a written history of the account transactions covering at least sixty days prior to the employees’ request;
    • No pay card may assess an overdraft fee or charge pursuant to the pay card issuer’s overdraft service against employees or the employees’ account; and
    • the ability to close a pay card account and obtain payment of the balance remaining on the card;
  9. the pay card shall may impose fees based on employees’ account balance;
  10. employers must ensure that the pay card account provides one (1) free replacement pay card per year at no cost to the employees at least fifteen days before the pay card’s expiration date; provided that the replacement pay card need not be issued if the pay card has been inactive for a period of not less than twelve months or the employees are no longer employed by the employers;
  11. pooled pay card accounts are permitted; provided that each subaccount shall be for the sole and exclusive benefit of the named employee, and not subject to the claims of the employer’s creditors; provided further that each employee’s pay card account must be eligible for deposit insurance on a pass through basis, including:
    • the account records of the federally insured depository institution must disclose the existence of the agency or custodial relationship;
    • the records of the federally insured depository institution, custodian, or other party shall disclose the identities of the employee cardholders who actually own the deposits and the amounts owned by each employee cardholder; and
    • the funds in the account shall be owned by the individual employee cardholders under an agreement among the parties or pursuant to applicable law and shall not be used by the employer’s creditor; and
  12. the funds in the pay card account shall not expire. The pay card account may be closed after six (6) continuous months of inactivity, with reasonable notice to the employees; provided that the remaining funds in the pay card account shall be refunded to the employees at no cost to the employees.

Employers must deposit all wages owed employees who have agreed to be paid through pay cards to the employees’ pay card accounts on or before the employees’ designated paydays. Employees will be deemed to have been paid wages owed at the time the wages are deposited into the employees’ pay card accounts and the employees have access to those wages.

If there is any delay of employees access to wages due to an error by the issuer, employers will not be held liable for this delay; provided that the employers deposited the proper amount of wages into the account on or before the designated payday and the employers are otherwise in compliance with the pay card requirements. Employers will otherwise be liable for any wages due and not timely paid onto a pay card.

Employers must provide employees twenty-one days prior written notice of any change to the pay card program taking effect. Employers must provide the written notices in plain language in at least ten-point font of any change to any of the terms and conditions of the pay card account, including any changes in the itemized list of fees.

The employer shall comply with all applicable recordkeeping requirements.

Employers’ obligation regarding pay card account requirements cease sixty days after the employer-employee relationship ends and employees has been paid the employee’s final wages.

HI Statute 388-5.7

Payment upon Separation from Employment

Employees who are fired, discharged, terminated, or permanently laid off

An employer must pay an employee who is discharged their wages in full at the time of discharge. If circumstances prevent an employer from paying a discharged employee immediately, the employer must pay the employee their wages in full no later than the workday following the discharge. HI Statute 388-3

If an employer has a policy requiring employees to give advanced notice of their intent to quit and an employee gives the required notice, an employer cannot terminate the employee, except for cause, during the notice period to avoid paying wages for that time.

An employer must pay the employee the anticipated wages of the entire notice period if the employee has given the required notice unless the employee voluntarily quits or is terminated for cause prior to the last day of the notice period. HI Statute 388-41

Employees who quit or resign

An employer must pay an employee who quits or resigns their wages in full no later than the next regular payday if the employee does not give notice of their intent to quit more than one pay period in advance. If an employee gives more than one pay period’s notice, the employer must pay the employee their wages in full at the time of quitting.

An employee can request the employer send their final paycheck through the mail, but if no such request is made, the employer may pay the employee through the regular pay channels. HI Statute 388-3

Employees who are suspended or resigns due to a labor dispute (strike)

An employer must pay an employee who is suspended due to a labor dispute wages in full not later than their next regular payday. An employee can request the employer send their final paycheck through the mail, but if no such request is made, the employer may pay the employee through the regular pay channels. HI Statute 388-3

Employees who are temporarily laid off

An employer must pay an employee who is temporarily laid off their wages in full not later than their next regular payday. An employee can request the employer send their final paycheck through the mail, but if no such request is made, the employer may pay the employee through the regular pay channels. HI Statute 388-3

Wages in Dispute

In case of a dispute between an employer and employee as to the amount of wages due, the employer must timely pay, without condition, all wages, or parts thereof, conceded by the employer to be due, leaving to the employee all remedies the employee might otherwise be entitled.

The acceptance by an employee of a payment under this section does not constitute a release with respect to the disputed amount and any release required by an employer as a condition to payment shall be is null and void. HI Statute 388-5

Deductions from Wages

An employer can only make deductions from an employee’s paycheck when authorized by federal or state laws, such as taxes and garnishments, or with the written consent of the employee. An employer cannot deduct from an employee’s paycheck the following items, even with written consent from the employee:

  • fines;
  • cash shortages from a common money till, cash box or register used by two or more people;
  • cash shortages from a money till, cash box, or register under control of a single employee if the employee is not given an opportunity to account for all money received at the start of a shift and all money turned in at the end of a shift;
  • cost for breakage;
  • losses due to accepting a bad check if the employee is given discretion to accept or reject checks;
  • losses due to:
    • faulty workmanship,
    • lost or stolen property,
    • damage to property,
    • default of customer credit,
    • nonpayment for goods or services received by customers if such losses are not attributable to the employee’s willful or intentional disregard of employer’s interests;
  • medical or physical examination or medical report expenses of an employee or prospective employee required by the employer or by law.

HI Statute 388-6

Uniforms, Tools, and Other Equipment Necessary for Employment

Hawaii does not have any laws prohibiting an employer from requiring an employee to purchase a uniform, tools, or other items necessary for employment. However, an employer would be required to have the signed consent of the employee to deduct the cost of the items from the employee’s wages.

Pre-hire Medical, Physical, or Drug Tests

An employer may not require an applicant or employee to pay the cost of a medical examination or the cost of furnishing any records required by the employer as a condition of employment. HI Statute 388-6

Notice of Wage Reduction

An employer must notify an employee in writing or by posting in an accessible place of any changes to their wage rate or the day, hour, and/or place of payment. HI Statute 388-7

Statement of Wages (Pay Stub)

An employer must furnish each employee at every pay period a legible printed, typewritten, or handwritten notice showing:

  • the employee’s name;
  • the employer’s name;
  • the address and telephone number of the employer
  • total hours worked;
  • regular hours;
  • overtime hours;
  • straight-time compensation;
  • overtime compensation;
  • other compensation, including allowances claimed as part of the minimum wage;
  • total gross compensation;
  • amount and purpose of each deduction;
  • total net compensation;
  • date of payment;
  • pay period covered; and
  • rate or rates of pay and basis thereof, whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or other basis, including overtime rate or rates of pay.
    • For employees paid a piece rate, the record must indicate the applicable piece rate or rates of pay, and the number of pieces completed at each piece rate; provided that in lieu of the printed, typewritten, or handwritten record and upon receipt of written authorization from the employee, the employer may provide an electronic record that may be electronically accessed by the employee.

An employer may provide, with the written consent of the employee, an electronic notice of the foregoing items that may be electronically accessed by the employee.

HI Statute 387-6; HI Statute 388-7

Record Keeping Requirements

An employer must maintain and keep for a minimum of six years in or about the premises where any employee is employed, records in English containing the following information on each employee:

  • name in full, social security number, or identifying symbol or number used in place of or in addition to a name on any record;
  • home address;
  • date of birth, if under nineteen;
  • occupation in which employed;
  • rate of pay and length of pay period;
  • hours worked each workday and total hours worked each workweek;
  • total daily or weekly straight-time wages;
  • total weekly overtime wages;
  • the amount and purpose of additions to or deductions from wages paid each pay period;
  • total wages paid each pay period, date of payment, and pay period covered;
  • date of hire; and
  • date of termination.

HI Statute 387-6; HI Reg. 12-20-8.

An employer must maintain and preserve a copy of the records provided to employees on payday records or their equivalent for a minimum of six (6) years. HI Statute 388-7

Notice Requirements

An employer must:

  • notify each new employee in writing their rate of pay and the day, hour, and place of payment, and
  • provide to each employee in writing or by accessible posting policies regarding vacation and/or sick leave.

HI Statute 388-7