I discovered that the Hawaii Employment Security Law protects workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own. Benefits may be paid for a maximum of 26 weeks. An employee who has worked during at least two quarters in a year, and worked at least 2 days a week, is eligible to receive benefits.
Other qualifications that a worker must meet are:
- Filing a tele-claim with Hawaii’s unemployment office
- Registering for work and reporting to the employment office as required
- Being able and available for work, unless the worker is ill or disabled
- Applying for work and not refusing suitable employment without good cause
If an employee voluntarily quits or resigns, I know that they are not eligible for benefits. Also, an employee who has been fired for deliberate misconduct connected with work is also not eligible.
If however an employee quit for good cause, they may receive benefits. Good cause is defined as:
- A change in working conditions that affects the worker’s health, safety, or morals
- A change in terms of employment, including pay, position, duties, days or hours of work
- Equal opportunity discrimination
- A change in an employee’s marital or domestic status;
- Refusal to rehire an employee after another job has been accepted and then withdrawn by a new employer
- Retirement due to a collective bargaining agreement
I read that an addition to the law provides for benefits to employees when a job loss is caused by a natural or manmade disaster. The additional benefits are dependent on the governor’s declaration of a state of emergency. There is no waiting period, but the maximum benefits payable are for 13 weeks.
Employers must pay taxes for each of their workers into an account from which benefits are paid out to covered workers who become involuntarily unemployed. Employers must also post a notice of the Hawaii Unemployment Insurance Laws in a public area of their workplace. This notice can be found on the Hawaii Complete Labor Law poster.
I recently came across the Rhode Island Website devoted to Workers’ Compensation. This site is phenomenal – it offers information about labor and training, and has a very comprehensive section devoted to answering common questions. In short, the site makes it easy to understand the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Law without having to spend too much time digging around.
Here’s what I found out in only a few minutes:
As of January 1, 1999, every person, firm, public service or private organization in Rhode Island, including the State itself, that employs workers regularly in the same business must adhere to the Workers’ Compensation Law. This fairly well means that every business in Rhode Island needs to comply with the law.
The only exemptions from the law include sole proprietors, partners and independent contractors. In addition, the State recognizes that it is often the case that real estate, agricultural and domestic service employees can also be exempt from the law.
If an employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance in Rhode Island, there are civil and administrative penalties for each day of noncompliance until the employer invests in the insurance. As such, there are also criminal penalties, which can result in fines and imprisonment.
Additionally, employers must disclose their compensation to all prospective employees at the time of their application. If the employer is exempt, then the employer must notify the employees or potential employees. Employers must also post a poster, which is available in both English and Spanish. The poster must be placed in a visible, trafficked location. Any tampering of the poster can result in a penalty or fine.
If an employee in Rhode Island is then injured at work, the State law states that the employer must report the injury and offer medical treatment. There is a $250 fine if an employer fails to report the injury the first time.