The Hawaii Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits employment discrimination based on race, sex (including gender identity or expression; pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, age, religion, color, ancestry, disability (including association or relationship with an individual with a disability), marital status, National Guard obligation, genetic test results, arrest and court records, domestic or sexual violence victim status, or credit history or report (HI Rev. Stat. Sec. 378-1 et seq.). The Act also prohibits employers from using lie detector tests.
The Act applies to all public and private employers regardless of size, employment agencies, and labor unions.
Like the federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), state law prohibits a covered employer from making any decision regarding hiring, discharge, advancement, compensation, or any other condition of employment on the basis of one of the protected characteristics.
Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against an individual who opposes unlawful discrimination, files a discrimination complaint, testifies, or assists in any proceeding under the Act. Aiding, abetting, compelling, or coercing a discriminatory act is also prohibited.
It is permissible to hire an individual on the basis of one of the protected characteristics if that characteristic constitutes a reasonable BFOQ for the job in question. A BFOQ is a characteristic that is reasonably necessary to performing the job in question. For example, being female would be a reasonable BFOQ for a job modeling women's clothing. Hawaii recognizes BFOQ exceptions that are ...