Hawaii Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

Hawaii Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The Hawaii Fair Employment Practices Law prohibits discrimination in employment based on sex (including gender identity or expression; pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, marital status, or domestic or sexual violence victim status (HI Rev. Stat. Sec. 378-1 et seq.). Regulations issued by the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission expressly state that sexual harassment is a violation of the state's fair employment law (HI Admin. Rule Sec. 12-46-109). The law applies to all employers in the state.
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Regulations issued by the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission define unlawful sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature if:
• Submission to the conduct is made a term or condition of an individual's employment
• Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the employee, or
• The conduct unreasonably interferes with an employee's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment
In determining whether an employer is liable for sexual harassment, the state Civil Rights Commission will consider the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the harassment occurred (HI Admin. Rule Sec. 12-46-109(b)). Employers are liable for sexual harassment by:
• Supervisors and agents, regardless of whether the employer authorized the behavior or knew of the occurrence of harassment.
• Coworkers, if the employer or its supervisors knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective ...

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