Employment in Hawaii

In the state of Hawaii, you are considered an at-will employee if you are employed without the benefit of a contract. This means that your employer may terminate you at any point in the future and for any reason at all, or for no reason. Your employer may not fire you in discrimination against your sex, country of origin, race, age, or religious beliefs. You may not be fired for becoming pregnant or disabled, or for having a pre-existing disability.

You may not be terminated for fulfilling a public duty. If there is an implied contract, meaning that your employer has indicated through speech, behavior, or action that you will not be terminated without just cause, you may not be terminated for any reason at all. In some cases, employee handbooks constitute a type of contract that prevents discharge for no reason.

If you have a contract, your employer may discharge you only for violating the contract or for misconduct.

Safety at Work: How to Keep It?

The state of Hawaii is involved in making sure the vast majority of businesses follow safety regulations so that their employees are not in danger of injury or death. You can usually file a complaint against a dangerous workplace without revealing your identity. This keeps you from having to worry that reprisals will be forthcoming from the company or employer.

HIOSH is an acronym for Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health. This is the organization that enforces safety regulation. They can tell employers what needs to be done to bring the safety of the workplace up to acceptable levels, and can even visit the work site itself to help employers and employees build a safer environment.

If an Injury Does Occur

Hawaii allows compensation for employees who have been injured through their job. This can take the form of wage loss compensation, where you are paid the amount of money lost during your injury and recovery, or assistance in getting medical care. Even if the employee was partly at fault, the employer bears full responsibility for providing benefits to the injured person. The employee is not allowed to sue the employer for the injury or illness that took place at the workplace or due to the work environment.

If an employer has one or more employees who work full-time, part-time, or on a temporary basis, he or she has a duty to offer the coverage for employee compensation.

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