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Know the Laws: Hawaii

UPDATED October 5, 2016

Workplace Protections

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Hawaii state law provides employment protections for domestic violence victims who need to take time off from work to handle issues related to domestic violence.

Basic Info About the Law

back to topDo I have the right to take time off from my job to deal with domestic violence against me or a family member?

Yes. If you or your minor child is the victim of domestic or sexual violence, you have the right to take unpaid days off from work to deal with matters related to the violence.  If your employer has 50 or more employees, you can take up to 30 unpaid days off from work in a calendar year.  If your employer has less than 50 employees, you can to take up to 5 days off per calendar year.

*H.R.S. § 378-72(a)

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back to topWhat is considered to be "domestic or sexual violence" under the law?

In Hawaii, domestic abuse means physical harm, bodily injury, assault, extreme psychological abuse or malicious property damage between family or household members. It is also the threat of immediate physical harm, bodily injury, or assault.*

Sexual violence includes domestic abuse (see above paragraph), sexual assault, or stalking.**  Sexual assault varies in degrees, but basically occurs when someone forces you to have sexual intercourse against your will.***

Stalking means that someone’s conduct towards you has caused you to suffer emotional distress or fear bodily injury, sexual assault, death to you or someone close to you.**

* H.R.S. § 586-1
** H.R.S. § 378-71
*** See H.R.S. § 707-730 through H.R.S. § 707--33

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back to topI know I can take time off to help my minor child who is being abused. Who is considered a minor under the law?

Minor children include isomeone under eighteen (18) who is your biological, adopted, or foster son or daughter.  It also includes a stepchild or a legal ward.*

* H.R.S. 378-71

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back to topWhat legal or medical actions, specifically, can I use the time off from work to do?

Your employer must let you take off time from work to do any of the following things if they are related to domestic or sexual violence to you or your minor child:
        1. Seek medical attention for or recover from physical or psychological injury caused by the domestic or sexual violence;
        2. Obtain services from a victim services organization;
        3. Obtain psychological or other counseling;
        4. Temporarily or permanently relocate;
        5. Take legal action in a case related to or resulting from the domestic or sexual violence;
        6. Take actions to improve the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of you or your minor child; or
        7. Take actions to improve the safety of people who you associate with or work with.*

* H.R.S. § 378-72(a)

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