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State Increases Enforcement of Wage Laws, Family Leave Law Expands

September 6, 2017, 11:27 AM HST · Updated September 6, 11:29 AM
Nikki Schenfeld · 0 Comments
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Gov. David Ige signed into law two acts pertaining to labor law passed by the Legislature this year.

Officials with the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced that violations of wage payment laws, including minimum wage and overtime, will now require DLIR to impose a penalty of no less than $500 or $100 per violation, whichever is greater. The second change also expands the Hawai‘i Family Leave Law to include siblings.

“Adding more teeth to the enforcement of wage laws certainly will help us in ensuring that workers are paid fairly for the work they perform,” said DLIR Director Linda Chu Takayama. “The expansion of Hawai‘i’s family leave law aligns with one of our State’s core values—taking care of Ohana.”

Act 135 (2017) authorizes a new penalty with a minimum of $500 plus the back wages with interest for failure to comply with any of the provisions of Chapter 388, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, Payment of Wages and Other Compensation Law. The law prescribes how and when an employer must pay their employees and what kind of documentation that employer needs to provide the employee.

Common violations include:

– Failure to pay within seven days after the end of the pay period
– Neglecting to provide a pay statement each payday
– Shorting hours on a pay check, including overtime, or making deductions from an employee’s paycheck for cash shortages, damages or fines.

Act 128 extends protected job status under the Hawai‘i Family Leave Law to care for a sibling with a serious health condition. Hawai‘i’s Family Leave Law provides employees, who work for employers with 100 or more employees, up to four weeks annually of unpaid family leave upon the birth or adoption of an employee’s child, or to care for the employee’s child, spouse, reciprocal beneficiary, sibling, or parent with a serious health condition.

Nikki Schenfeld
Nikki joined the Maui Now team in 2016 as a writer/reporter. Originally from Chicago, she has had internships with CBS2 Chicago and Comcast SportsNet Chicago where she had the opportunity to interview some of Chicago's best athletes. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. She moved to Maui in 2013.
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