When most people think about Hawaii, they see pictures of peaceful sandy beaches, super luxury resorts with blue skies and green palm trees, and hula girls swaying in the warm breeze. When I think about Hawaii, I think about overtime law. Yes, Hawaii, like all the 49 other states, has its own overtime laws.
What makes it interesting for us is that the Hawaii overtime law is unique and sets its own guidelines for how employers are supposed to pay employees overtime wages. Sure, Hawaii’s overtime law follows the same basic tenet as the federal law: that employees must be paid time and a half for all work done in a week over 40 hours.
But Hawaii also has a special work week and overtime pay designation for agricultural, plant, and dairy workers. For them, employers can pay normal rate up to 48 hours a week, for up to 20 weeks in a year. Any work over those 48 hours, though, requires employers to pay their workers the one and a half times pay rate.
Hawaii also has its own set of special exemptions, or people who don’t receive overtime. These include any workers with a guaranteed compensation of $2,000 a month or more. Certain agricultural workers are also entirely exempt, as are domestic servants. Most employees who work on or with the sea, such as seamen and fishermen, are exempt. And add to this list drivers of certain passenger vehicles.
If you employ your family member, interestingly enough, they do not get overtime pay under Hawaii rules.
Hawaii also follows the general federal guidelines covering “white collar” workers, such as executives, administrators, and professionals. For the most part, they are all overtime exempt. But the Hawaii law contains many other specific exceptions, and of course, we could get into all of them if we had the room. Perhaps down the road in another blog we can take the subject up again.
For now you can view a detailed description of the overtime laws on the Hawaii Complete Labor Law poster.