State Announces New Measures to Enforce Wage Laws

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The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) has announced two new acts signed into law by Gov. David Ige pertaining to a labor law passed by the Legislature this year.

Violations of wage payment laws, including minimum wage and overtime, will now require a penalty of not less than $500 or $100 per violation, whichever is greater. The second change expands the Hawai‘i Family Leave Law to include siblings.

“Adding more teeth to the enforcement of wage laws certainly will help us in ensuring that workers are paid fairly for the work they perform,” said DLIR Director Linda Chu Takayama. “The expansion of Hawai‘i’s family leave law aligns with one of our State’s core values—taking care of ‘Ohana.”

Act 135 authorizes a new administrative penalty with a minimum of $500 plus the back wages with interest for failure to comply with any of the provisions of Chapter 388 of the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS), Payment of Wages and Other Compensation Law. The law dictates how and when an employer must pay their employees and what kind of documentation that employer needs to provide to the employee. Common violations include the failure to pay within seven days after the pay period ends, neglecting to provide a pay statement on each payday, shorting hours on a pay check, including overtime, or making deductions from an employee’s paycheck for cash shortages, damages or fines.


Act 128 extends employment protections under the Hawai‘i Family Leave Law to care for a sibling with a serious health condition. Hawai‘i’s Family Leave Law provides employees who work for employers with 100 or more employees up to four weeks of unpaid family leave each year upon the birth or adoption of an employee’s child, or to care for the employee’s child, spouse, reciprocal beneficiary, sibling, or parent with a serious health condition.


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