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Legal Information: Hawaii

Hawaii Workplace Protections

Laws current as of January 11, 2024

What rights does this law give to victims of abuse?

If you or your minor child is the victim of domestic or sexual violence, this law gives you 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 five days off per calendar year.

Under the law, your “minor child” not only includes your biological or adopted child but also your foster child, step-child, or legal ward who is under age 18.2

1 H.R.S. § 378-72(a)
2 H.R.S. § 378-71

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

The law protects victims of “domestic or sexual violence.”1 In Hawaii, domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, means any of the following between family or household members:

  • physical harm or the threat of immediate physical harm;
  • bodily injury or the threat of immediate bodily injury;
  • assault or the threat of an immediate assault;
  • extreme psychological abuse;
  • malicious property damage.2

Sexual violence includes:

A family or household member includes:

  • your current or former spouse;
  • your current or former reciprocal beneficiary,4 which is someone who you have significant personal, emotional, and economic relationships with, but are prohibited from legally marrying;5
  • someone with whom you have a child in common;
  • your parent;
  • your child;
  • someone related to you by blood or marriage;
  • someone with whom you live/lived (Note: This does not include adults who lived together as roommates or who were cohabitants only for economic reasons or due to a lease); and
  • someone who you are dating or used to date.4

1 H.R.S. § 378-72(a)
2 H.R.S. § 586-1
3 H.R.S. § 378-71
4 H.R.S. § 586-1
5 H.R.S. § 572C-2

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

If it is related to domestic or sexual violence suffered by you or your minor child, your employer must let you take off time from work to do any of the following things:

  • seek medical attention for, or recover from, a physical or psychological injury caused by the domestic or sexual violence;
  • get services from a victim services organization;
  • get psychological or other counseling;
  • temporarily or permanently relocate;
  • take legal action in a case related to, or resulting from, the domestic or sexual violence;
  • take actions to improve the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of you or your minor child; or
  • take actions to improve the safety of people with whom you associate or work.1

1 H.R.S. § 378-72(a)