Employment and Labor Law, and Civil Litigation Lawyer in Honolulu, Hawaii

Law Office of Roman Amaguin

345 Queen Street
Suite 501

Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Phone(808) 271-1088

Articles Published by Law Office of Roman Amaguin

 Sexual Orientation Discrimination Basics under Hawaii Employment Law

Hawaii employment law, HRS Chapter 378, expressly prohibits employment discrimination and harassment because of sexual orientation. In May 2011, Governor Abercrombie signed a bill into law establishing transsexuals, transgendered individuals and transvestites as a protected class under Hawaii employment law.

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 Hawaii Employment Law: Workers' Compensation Basics

Generally, recovery under Hawaii's workers' compensation law is an employee's exclusive remedy for work-related injuries or diseases. However, an employee generally cannot sue his or her employer or a co-worker for damages resulting from occupational injuries caused by the employer's or co-worker's negligence. This does not necessarily preclude injuries resulting from intentional acts, for example.

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 Hawaii Employment Law and Whistleblower Protection

Under Hawaii law, HRS § 378-62, an employer is prohibited from threatening to discharge, discharging, or otherwise discriminating against any employee or a person acting on behalf of the employee, who is a whistleblower.

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 Hawaii Employment Personnel Records Law

Personnel and related records present risk to Hawaii employers if not stored, maintained and disposed of appropriately. Hawaii employers should designate at least three levels of security for access to employee information/records.

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 Hawaii Employment Law: How to Implement a Sexual Harassment Policy

There are several specific steps an employer should take to emphasize to employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in the workplace. An employer's managers and supervisors take on an important role at each of these steps. One of the most important steps is the effective implementation of a sexual harassment policy.

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 Hawaii Family Leave Law Basics

Employers who are covered by the Hawai'i Family Leave Law are required to allow eligible employees to use up to ten (10) days per year of their accrued and available sick leave for any of the purposes listed in the HFLA.

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 Age Discrimination in Employment under Federal and Hawaii Law

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) applies to employers who employ 20 or more employees. The ADEA covers employees who are at least 40 years-old. Hawaii law, HRS Chapter 378, also prohibits age discrimination. Significantly, however, HRS Chapter 378 applies to all employers. Further, all employees regardless of their age are protected against age discrimination.

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 Hawaii Sexual Harassment Law: Factors that Create a Hostile Work Environment

A work environment is considered "hostile" under both Hawaii and federal law when sexual behavior is severe or pervasive enough to alter the complaining employee's employment conditions and create an abusive work environment.

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 National Origin Discrimination Under Hawaii Law

Title VII prohibits discrimination because of "national origin." The EEOC defines national origin discrimination as the denial of equal employment opportunity because of an individual's ancestry, place of origin, or because the individual possesses the physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics of a national origin group. Hawaii law prohibits "ancestry" discrimination. Like Title VII, the terms "ancestry" and "national origin" overlap.

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 Race and Color Discrimination Under Hawaii Employment Law

Title VII and Hawai'i Revised Statute Chapter 378 prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of race and color. The term "race" generally includes all distinctive racial characteristics such as physical characteristics, culture and race-linked illnesses. "Race" can also include a person's name.

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 Illegal Discrimination in Public Accommodations under Hawaii Law

Under Hawaii law, owners and operators exercise authority, control, or discretion over places of public accommodation. In this capacity, owners and operators are subject to liability for unfair discriminatory practices due to race, sex, color, religion, ancestry, or disability by themselves, or their employees and agents.

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 Effective Investigation of Sexual Harassment Claims under Hawaii Employment Law

Prompt, thorough and effective investigations are an integral part of an employer's prevention and correction of sexual and other forms of unlawful harassment in the workplace. Recent United States Supreme Court decisions have emphasized the importance of the employer's efforts to prevent sexually harassing behavior and promptly correct any such behavior which does occur.

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 Wrongful Termination, Harassment and Discrimination Claims in Hawaii

In Hawaii and other jurisdictions the majority of all employment relationships can be divided into three categories.

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 Hawaii Employment Law Basics: Statutory Leaves of Absences

Employment policies may provide for many different leaves of absence. Except for leave to vote, no Hawaii law requires paid leave for any leave of absence. Here is a brief summary of statutorily-protected leaves of absence in Hawaii.

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 Hawaii Employment Law Basics: Anti-Nepotism Policies

Under Hawaii’s employment practices statute, HRS Chapter 378, employers are prohibited from discriminating against applicants and employees alike on the basis of marital status. Discrimination prohibited by Hawaii law includes a refusal to hire, demotion, termination or disparate terms or conditions of employment, because an individual is a spouse of an employee.

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 Hawaii Employment Law Basics: Medical Examinations and Disability Law

Hawaii law and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit employers from discriminating against employees and applicants for employment who have disabilities. Physical examinations cannot be used to unfairly or disproportionately screen out disabled individuals. Employers may not require medical examinations of job applicants until after conditional offers of employment are made. Finally, medical examinations of current employees must be job related and consistent with business necessity.

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 Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Remedies Potentially Available to Hawaii Employers for Deleted Files

Hawaii employers could have a federal civil remedy available in federal court in addition to the ability to invoke Hawaii criminal statutory law for damage caused to either network or company-owned computers by former employees.

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 Hawaii Employment Law Briefing: Hawaii Security Breach and Identity Theft Law Basics

The problem of identity theft in Hawaii is suspected to be much worse than publicized. There have been several high-profile examples of Hawaii businesses experiencing on-line and hard-copy security breaches of private and confidential information of its employees and/or customers, thus increasing significantly the risk of identity theft.

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 Hospital Employee's Misuse of Personal Health Information: a Wake Up Call for Hawaii Employers

Hawaii employers covered by HIPAA should review their privacy and HIPAA policies and conduct an audit of their practices in order to protect against the improper use and disclosure of private health information and to reduce the risk of privacy breaches in their own organization.

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 Hawaii Employment Law Basics: Protections of Victims Leave Act Triggered More Often in a Tough Economy

The weak economy has been linked to a significant increase in domestic violence cases throughout the country. It is critical that Hawaii employers understand that the Hawaii Victims Leave Act requires all Hawaii employers to provide eligible employees with at least 5 days of unpaid victims leave.

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 Employment Law in Hawaii: Employers Increasingly Facing Litigation over English-Only Rules as More Complaints are Filed with the EEOC

Given the amount of attention given to immigration issues on a national scale, the significant increase in national origin claims being filed with the EEOC in the last few years is no surprise. Recently, the EEOC brought suit against a California Nursing Home company that prohibited Spanish-speaking employees from speaking Spanish to Spanish-speaking residents, and also while on breaks or in the parking lot of the facilities.

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 Hawaii Card Check Bill Passes: Bill's Fate in Question as it is Transmitted to Governor Lingle

A bill which will allow unions to organize agricultural employers without a secret ballot election, HB 952 CD1, was passed on May 8, 2009, by the Hawaii Legislature. Governor Lingle will have until June 30, 2009 to issue a veto message. The card check bill closely mirrors President Obama’s push for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (“EFCA”).

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 Employment Law Basics for Hawaii Employers: Illinois Ruling Highlights the Importance of Policies and Training to Hawaii Employers

Training and educational programs for all employees are critical under Hawaii state law, HRS Chapter 378. State law currently is interpreted by the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission (“HCRC”) as mandating strict liability for sexual harassment committed by supervisors. While the Hawaii Supreme Court has not addressed the HCRC’s interpretation of HRS Chapter 378 a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision supports the HCRC's position.

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 Hawaii Employment Law Alert: DOL to Increase Audits

On March 24, 2009, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a statement making clear that employers, including Hawaii employers, can expect an increase in DOL audits. Hawaii employers should begin auditing their payroll and other employee-related practices and procedures.

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 Hawaii Employment Law and Litigation Basics: How do I Draft a Litigation Hold Policy and Implement a Plan for Electronic Discovery?

Electronic evidence is quickly evolving into one of the most difficult areas of litigation to navigate. Hawaii businesses, especially human resource managers in employment disputes, must understand that it is extremely important to work closely with counsel to determine the extent of their discovery obligations.

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 EEOC Issues Employer Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities

On April 22, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued employer best practices for workers with caregiving responsibilities. This follows up the EEOC’s 2007 guidance explaining the circumstances under which discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities might constitute discrimination based on sex, disability or other characteristics protected by federal employment discrimination laws.

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 Hawaii Employment Law Update: Impact of FMLA Revisions on Hawaii Employers’ Practices/Procedures

The Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) final revisions to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) regulations became effective on January 16, 2009. In addition to implementing the new regulations into their policies and procedures many Hawaii employers will have the difficult task of determining to what extent the changes to FMLA affect their obligations and practices under the Hawaii Family Leave Law (“HFLL”).

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