Hawaii Labor Laws

In 2020, the minimum wage is $10.10 hour.

The tipped minimum wage in 2020 is $9.35 per hour.

In addition to the cash wage, employers have the legal responsibility to make sure tipped employees have a take-home pay of at least $17.10 per hour including tips. If an employee doesn’t make at least $17.10 per hour with tips, the employer must make up the difference.

In calculating the overtime rate for the tipped employee, the restaurateur must multiply the minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) by 1½ (1.5), subtract the tip credit ($5.12 per hour), multiply that figure by the number of overtime hours worked, and then add that sum to their 40-hour total. 

Overtime is paid when an employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek.  Hours worked in excess of 8 hours a day is not considered overtime, except when work is performed on a State or county public works construction project.

In Hawaii, the only requirement for breaks is found in Chapter 390, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), Child Labor Law, which requires employers to provide at least a thirty minute rest or meal period after five consecutive hours of work for fourteen- and fifteen-year-old minors.  An employer’s policy would determine whether or not breaks are provided for other employees.

There is no State law that requires a minimum number of hours in which an employer must provide an employee between their daily 8 hour work shifts.

You may contact the nearest office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, for information on federal laws. The Hawaii office can be reached at (808) 541-1361.

If an employee works through a designated break, the employer is required to compensate the employee for the time as hours worked.

Extra compensation for work not performed, such as on a holiday, is not required by law in Hawaii.  Under Chapter 388, HRS, Payment of Wages and Other Compensation Law, an employer is required to pay for all hours that an employee works, however, any additional pay for work performed on a holiday is at the discretion of the employer.

Under Chapter 387, HRS, Wage and Hour Law, an employer is required to pay for all hours that an employee is “suffered or permitted to work.”  There is no provision that requires an employer to pay an employee for a canceled shift.  An employer is not required to pay an employee who reports to work and is immediately informed that no work is available and the employee is allowed to leave.  However, if the employee reports to work at his/her scheduled time and is suffered or permitted to wait for work before being informed that no work is available, the employer is required to compensate the employee, at the employee’s regular rate of pay, for the time spent waiting between the employee’s scheduled start time and the time the employee is sent home.

In Hawaii, paid vacation and sick leave is not required by law.  Under Section 388-7(3), Hawaii Revised Statutes, of the Payment of Wages and Other Compensation Law, employers that provide vacation and sick leave benefits must make their policies available to employees in writing or through a notice posted in a place accessible to the employees.  The employer’s policy determines the criteria to earn and use these benefits.

If an employer pays a processing fee to accept credit cards from customers, and that customer leaves a tip as part of the credit card payment, the employer is allowed to deduct the employees share of the credit card processing charge the employee realizes. 

Yes, Hawaii law does allow employers to require tip sharing and tip pooling. Employees receiving tips are only required to contribute what is considered reasonable and may also ensure that they do not dip below $17.10 per hour.

Employment Law Firms

Law Office of David F. Simons

For over 30 years, attorney David Simons has practiced law with the goal of protecting employees from discrimination and unlawful behavior on the part of their employers, whether they’re large corporations or small businesses. In the decades since founding the Law Office of David F. Simons, he has stayed true to that mission, with several multimillion-dollar successes when representing individuals before judges, juries, arbitrators, mediators and in settlement negotiations.