I have read that Hawaiian employees are protected under the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Laws. Under these laws, employees have the right to:
- A safe and healthful workplace. The State of Hawaii has developed a federally-approved program, and Hawaii is responsible for enforcing its own occupational safety and health regulations. These regulations affect both private and public businesses, except those hired for domestic service in or about a private home, maritime or shipbuilding employees, and employees covered by a federal agency.
- Notify an employer or the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division (HIOSH) about workplace hazards. HIOSH will keep a worker’s name and identity confidential.
- Request a HIOSH inspection if an employee believes that there are unsafe and/or unhealthful conditions at a workplace. The worker may participate in the inspection.
- See HIOSH citations issued to the employer. The employer must post the citations at or near the place of the alleged violation. The employer must correct workplace hazards by the date indicated on the citation and must certify that these hazards have been reduced or eliminated.
- Request copies of their own medical records, or records of an exposure to toxic and harmful substances or conditions.
- File a safety and health complaint. An employer may not discriminate against a worker for making a complaint or for exercising their rights as detailed above. The employee can file a discrimination complaint with the HIOSH within 60 days of the discriminatory act.
I know that violations of the HIOSH Law may result in penalties of up to $70,000 per item. Serious, willful or repeated violations, and failure to correct a violation within the prescribed time can result in assessed penalties of up to $7,000 per day.
Employers must post these laws in a public place at their business. The Hawaii Complete Labor Law poster currently reflects the HIOSH laws as well as all federal labor laws for employees to review. For more information, contact the Hawaii Occupational Safety & Health Division:
During my research into sexual harassment laws across the States, I found that most sexual harassment claims are brought into the Federal courts because they are under Federal law. Each state has its own civil rights law that state that sexual harassment is unlawful and punishable in court and each of these laws is guided by the Federal laws.
The state laws also cover the same ground as Title IX, which states that men and women should be treated equally in the workplace and that states may not discriminate based on gender. These state laws have provided a possible cause of action for sexual harassment because the entire issue of sexual harassment still seems to be wrought within a grey area, I’ve found.
In South Dakota, if an employee feels that he or she has been sexually harassed in the workplace, then he or she needs to file a claim with the Commission on Human Affairs, a division of the state government. The individual believing to have been sexually harassed has a limited amount of time (180 days) from the date of the alleged harassment in order to file the claim. This time limit is common across the states.
Once the claim is filed with the state, it will be automatically cross-filed with the federal government as well. However, if you choose to file with the Federal government first instead of with the state government, then you should know that the deadline is longer and the Federal government will, in turn, cross-file the complaint with the state.
Many people believing to have received sexual harassment in the workplace choose to also consult an attorney. The attorney can take care of the filing for you and will argue your case on a state or federal level if the case is accepted.
I know that the District of Columbia ’s Worker’s Compensation Notice protects both employees and employers in the case of on-the-job accidents. Of course, there are many rules governing both parties when dealing with compensation claims.
Under the law, I understand that employees have rights, but that they also need to follow certain procedures:
An employee must report a work-related injury or sickness promptly to their employer and to the Office of Workers’ Compensation. They must fill out a form and send it to both parties promptly.
Employees are entitled to the services of a physician or hospital of their choice and to lost wages.
The employee can’t collect under the law and then sue their employer for compensation.
In order to collect benefits, the employee must file a written claim within one year after the injury, or within one year after the last payment of benefits.
The law gives the employee the right to attorney representation, if they desire.
I know that employers must also submit forms and follow regulations:
Employers are required to have Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage if they employ more than one person.
Employers are required to display a compliance poster at each worksite.
In case of a claim, the employer must submit a report with the Office of Workers’ Compensation, and a copy to their insurance company. This must be done as soon as possible, but no later than 10 days after an employer is informed of an accident.
An employer must provide employees with all forms needed to complete a claim. Once the employer has received notice from the employee, they must send the employee a notice of his/her rights and obligations by certified mail.
The employer must furnish reasonable medical and hospital services, other remedial care or vocational rehabilitation, and various types of disability compensation, to an injured or disabled employee.
The District of Columbia Complete Labor Law poster reflects both the State and Federal laws on one convenient poster. This one posting will assist employer’s to become compliant per the worker’s compensation laws.
I have been looking up state discrimination laws to find out what the differences are between the states. I noticed that in South Carolina, according to the South Carolina Human Affairs Law, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age and disability. This law is fairly standard throughout the states, though some states also make provisions for ancestry, sexual orientation and age if over 40.
If an employee in South Carolina wants to file a discrimination claim, then he or she needs to file the claim with the state administrative agency, the South Caroline Human Affairs Commission (SHAC) or the federal administrative agency called the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
These two agencies (the SHAC and the EEOC) have a “work-sharing agreement”, which is actually pretty standard throughout the states. A work-sharing agreement means that the state agencies cooperate with each other to process claims. As such, if you file with one agency, you will not have to file with another as long as you indicate that you would like to cross-file your claim. However, many attorneys recommend that you file first with the SHAC when it comes to your discrimination claims.
Also, keep in mind that many states, including South Carolina, have a time deadline for filing a claim. You must file your claim within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. If you want to file with the EEOC, then you must file within 300 days of the alleged date of discrimination. Many people hire attorneys to handle any discrimination cases so that you can file a lawsuit if your case is successfully resolved by an administrative agency. If you are filing a federal employment discrimination case, then you must first go through the EEOC before the state agency, but you can cross-file so that you do not have to file twice.