Hawaii Legislature End of 2018 Session Report
From NFIB Hawaii -- July 16, 2018
Defeat of paid-leave proposals highlight accomplishments for small business
Changing Hawaii’s family leave law from four weeks of unpaid leave to 16 weeks of paid leave would have had an immediate and significant impact on employers.
NFIB Hawaii strongly opposed employer-paid leave proposals, which were defeated early in the legislative session. Legislators then turned to consider bills that would have implemented an employee-paid program which was touted by proponents as costing employees less than $20 per month.
However, the cost to the state to administer the program became a growing concern of some legislators. One version of the bill would have required the state Department of Labor to study an employee-paid program, then implement the program, even though the study has not yet been conducted.
House Bills 1629 and 2598 and Senate Bill 2990 were all defeated. By the May conclusion of the legislative session, no changes to family leave were passed.
A predictive scheduling bill was assigned for a hearing in the Senate Labor Committee. It would have required employers to provide employees with written notice of the employee’s shift schedule at least 10 calendar days before the employee is scheduled to work. NFIB Hawaii and many small-business owners opposed the bill claiming it is too inflexible and would result in significant additional costs.
State-Run Retirement Program
NFIB Hawaii also opposed Senate Bill 2333, which would have required a study on the feasibility of implementing the Hawaii Retirement Savings Program. Like the family leave bills, the retirement savings bill was crafted in a way that made it appear to be merely a study but required implementation of the savings program even though the study had not been performed. The proposed savings program would require employers to deduct contributions to a savings plan for employees unless they opt out. It would have created a state-run savings program but prohibited employers who offer savings plans from joining in the state program. The bill was defeated in the House Labor Committee.
The regular session of the 29th Hawaii State Legislature adjourned May 3, 2018. The 30th Hawaii State Legislature convenes for business January 16, 2019.