Hawaii Maternity and Pregnancy: What you need to know

The Hawaii Fair Employment Practice (FEP) Law prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of sex, including discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. The Law covers all public and private employers regardless of size (HI Rev. Stat. Sec. 378-1et seq.).
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Employers are required to treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other individuals not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.
Disability due to and resulting from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions must be considered by the employer to be justification for a leave, with or without pay for a “reasonable” period of time. What constitutes a “reasonable period of time” is determined by the employee’s physician, with regard for the employee’s physical condition and the job requirements. The leave can be taken before or after birth, or at any time the employee is medically unable to work because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions (HI Admin. Rules Sec. 12-46-108).
Pregnancy leave is required only when an employee is actually disabled from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. An employer cannot require a pregnant female to take leave if she is not presently disabled due to pregnancy. The employee should inform her employer as soon as she can determine with reasonable certainty the date and duration of the pregnancy leave. The terms of leave may be modified as the employee’s changing medical conditions dictate.
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