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Friday, April 10, 2015
Small Business Group Challenges Employment Law Proposals
By News Release @ 4:01 PM :: 4843 Views :: Labor, Small Business

Sick leave bill stalls; Legislature looking at May 7 adjournment

From NFIB Hawaii, April, 2015

NFIB Hawaii is actively engaging legislators on several employment law proposals, including bills relating to leave policy, workers’ compensation, and workplace complaints/protections.

Paid Leave

Only one measure pertaining to family leave policy remains active this session. House Bill 496 would establish a trust fund to provide partial wage replacement for four weeks of paid family leave. The fund would be paid into by employee wage withholdings. NFIB/Hawaii opposes this measure on the basis that it will be expensive to administer and is essentially a tax on employees. This measure was one of several on both sides of the Legislature aimed at expanding paid leave, however, it is the only one that continues to move. It has been passed out of the Senate Judiciary & Labor Committee and is awaiting scheduling in Ways & Means. 

Senate Bill129, which would require employers to provide sick leave for service workers for specific purposes and under certain conditions, was scheduled to be heard by the House Labor Committee, but was then deleted from the agenda and has now missed its internal legislative deadline. Because the Hawaii Legislature allows for bills to be drastically changed later, the concept is not necessarily completely dead, but it is definitely not moving at this time. NFIB Hawaii continues to oppose employer paid leave laws in Hawaii.

Workers’ Compensation

There is only one workers’ compensation measure that has passed out of the Senate and is moving through the House. Senate Bill 1174, which would require that examinations be performed by a qualified physician mutually agreed upon by the parties, has been heard in the House Committees on Health and on Labor and has been referred to the Committee on Finance.

Workplace Complaints/Protections

In the workplace complaints/protections category, two bills are still in play. House Bill 683, which would authorize the executive director of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission to dismiss a discrimination complaint and issue a notice of right to sue if reasonable cause can be established and conciliation fails. The measure has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but is still awaiting scheduling. It is only a single referral, however, so there is still time for it to have a hearing. 

Senate Bill 1213, which deals with workplace TROs, has been heard by the House Labor Committee and referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Professional Employer Organizations

On other employment matters, House Bill 1497 seeks to regulate records kept by professional employer organizations. It passed out of the Senate Judiciary & Labor Committee and scheduled for decision making in Commerce and Consumer Protection on April 1 at 9:30 am.

Independent Contractors

Senate Bill 1219 pertains to employment security for independent contractors. It had only a single referral in the House – the Labor Committee – which passed it -- and it may move to conference committee or be agreed upon by the House. NFIB Hawaii supported this bill.

NFIB Hawaii is also working on bills related to economic development, business regulation and taxation. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on May 7.

Past Reports

(From most recent, down)

Small Business Day at the Capitol held

Requirement calling for triple pay on state holidays removed from Senate bill

Bill deadline passes; long-time legislator joins state leadership council

Employer paid sick leave bill is back; legislative meet-and-greet a big success

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