When hiring employees who reside and work in Hawaii, your employee handbook needs to comply with both federal and state-specific employment laws. Given that Hawaii employment law may differ significantly from other states where you hire, customizing your Hawaii employee handbook to comply with state requirements is important.
Employee handbooks are not required by law, but employers are required to implement and comply with a variety of policies in the workplace. Employee handbooks are a good resource because they allow employers to easily document the required policies and show that they have complied with applicable law.
Employee handbooks offer an introduction to the company, act as a resource for employees and managers, set expectations, explain important company policies, and mitigate your legal risk. However, if your Hawaii employee handbook fails to comply with state-specific employment laws, you could leave your company open to significant risk.
To streamline the process, SixFifty’s employment documents platform empowers employers to quickly and cost-effectively generate customized, state-specific employment handbooks.
Here’s what employers should know about creating their own Hawaii employee handbooks.
Required Hawaii employee handbook policies
Hawaii requires employers to implement and comply with eight state-specific policies:
- Domestic Violence Leave Policy
- FMLA Policy (for companies with 100 or more employees)
- Jury Duty Leave Policy
- Meal and Rest Breaks Policy (minors only)
- Organ, Bone Marrow, and Stem Cell Donor Leave Policy (for companies with 50 or more employees)
- Pay Transparency Policy
- Pregnancy Leave Policy
- Witness Duty Leave Policy
Note that the meal and rest breaks policy only applies to companies who hire minors, and the state FMLA and donor policies both have employee thresholds. If your company doesn’t meet those thresholds or hire minors, the laws don’t apply.
Optional Hawaii employee handbook policies
In addition to the eight required Hawaii employment policies, employers are free to include optional policies like:
- Affinity Group Policy
- Arbitration Policy
- At-Will Employment Policy
- Background Check Policy
- Business Expense Policy
- Company Property Policy
- Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
- Desk Hoteling Policy
- Direct Deposit Policy
- Dress Code Policy
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
- Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
- Employee Benefits Policy
- Employee Classification Policy
- Employee Dating Policy
- Employee References Policy
- Employment of Relatives Policy
- Exit Interview Policy
- Gifts Policy
- Health and Safety Policy
- Immigration Law Compliance
- Lactation Accommodation Policy
- Leave Policies, including: Paid Sick Leave; Bereavement Leave; Crime Victim Leave; Civil Service Leave; School Activity Leave
- Marijuana Policy
- Off-Duty Use of Facilities
- Outside Employment Policy
- Overtime Policy
- Payment of Wages Policy
- Payroll Deductions Policy
- Performance Review Policy
- Personnel Files Policy
- Pets in the Workplace Policy
- Progressive Discipline Policy
- Public Relations Policy
- Punctuality and Attendance Policy
- Salary Pay Policy
- Social Media Policy
- Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
- Technology Systems Policy
- Telecommuting Policy
- Temporary Relocation Policy
- Timekeeping Policy
- Vacation/Paid Time Off
- Video Conferencing Policy
- Workers’ Compensation Policy
- Workplace Violence Policy
- Workplace Visitor Policy
- Workweek and Work Schedules Policy
Keep in mind that not all of these policies are necessary or desirable, depending on your company type, size, structure, employment type and other important factors.
Required federal employee handbook policies
If you create your own Hawaii employee handbook, you must also include the following required federal employee handbook policies:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy
- Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (for companies with more than 50 employees)
- Jury Duty Leave Policy
- Military Service Leave Policy
- Sexual Harassment Policy
- Lactation Accommodation Policy
- Religious Accommodation Policy
Employers in all 50 states are required to implement these policies, in addition to any that are required by the specific state(s) in which they have employees. Therefore, all of your employee handbooks should contain these federal policies (if your organization meets the 50-employee requirement for the FMLA Policy).
How to create a Hawaii employee handbook
Creating state-specific employee handbooks demands careful research and drafting. Moreover, it carries inherent risks—any inadvertent violation of federal or Hawaii state employment laws in your handbooks could expose your company to legal liability.
To ensure that your state-specific handbooks meet legal requirements, you have several options. One approach is to hire an attorney for the handbook drafting, ensuring compliance. However, when hiring employees in multiple states, those billable hours can quickly accumulate.
Some companies may consider turning to one-size-fits-all online templates. However, this is not advisable, as there’s no guarantee that the templates will encompass all the required state-specific policies.
Understanding the challenges associated with drafting employee handbooks, SixFifty has taken care of the hard work for you. Our Employment Docs platform is designed to support employers through every stage of the employment life cycle, starting from offer letters and continuing through termination and offboarding. Creating top-tier Hawaii employee handbooks that meet all requirements has never been easier. Best of all, our legal team closely monitors any developments in employment law nationwide. Should any changes arise, we promptly notify you, so you can regenerate your documents accordingly.
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