§386-3  Injuries covered.  (a)  If an employee suffers personal injury either by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment or by disease proximately caused by or resulting from the nature of the employment, the employee's employer or the special compensation fund shall pay compensation to the employee or the employee's dependents as provided in this chapter.

     Accident arising out of and in the course of the employment includes the wilful act of a third person directed against an employee because of the employee's employment.

     (b)  No compensation shall be allowed for an injury incurred by an employee by the employee's wilful intention to injure oneself or another by actively engaging in any unprovoked non-work related physical altercation other than in self-defense, or by the employee's intoxication.

     (c)  A claim for mental stress resulting solely from disciplinary action taken in good faith by the employer shall not be allowed; provided that if a collective bargaining agreement or other employment agreement specifies a different standard than good faith for disciplinary actions, the standards set in the collective bargaining agreement or other employment agreement shall be applied in lieu of the good faith standard.  For purposes of this subsection, the standards set in the collective bargaining agreement or other employment agreement shall be applied in any proceeding before the department, the appellate board, and the appellate courts. [L 1963, c 116, pt of §1; Supp, §97-3; HRS §386-3; gen ch 1985; am L 1995, c 234, §6; am L 1998, c 224, §2]


Cross References


  Police officers injured while off-duty covered, see §52D-15.


Attorney General Opinions


  Where employee at work is injured and dies as a result of an assault by a third party, compensation should be awarded notwithstanding the assault may have arisen from personal matters.  Att. Gen. Op. 73-4.


Law Journals and Reviews


  Suicide was compensable injury by disease caused by the employment.  Haw. Supp, 4 HBJ, no. 3, at 24 (1966).

  Death by heart attack was not compensable because there was no causal relationship between work and death.  Haw. Supp, 5 HBJ, no. 1, at 38 (1967).

  Japanese Corporate Warriors in Pursuit of a Legal Remedy:  The Story of  Karoshi, or "Death from Overwork" in Japan.  21 UH L. Rev. 169 (1999).

  Mitchell v. State and HRS §386-3:  Workers' Compensation Reform in the State of Hawai`i.  21 UH L. Rev. 807 (1999).

  Hawai`i's Workers' Compensation Scheme:  An Employer's License to Kill?  29 UH L. Rev. 211 (2006).


Case Notes


  Course of employment.  66 F. Supp. 875 (1946); 34 H. 221 (1937).

  Employee suffered work-related injury when employee sustained a psychogenic disability due to employee's employment.  714 F. Supp. 1108 (1989).

  "Out of" and "in the course of".  24 H. 324 (1918).

  Covers workers under nonmaritime contract of employment injured aboard ship.  26 H. 737 (1923).

  "By accident", "arising out of", and "course of employment".  26 H. 785 (1923); 37 H. 556 (1947); 38 H. 384 (1949); 40 H. 660 (1955).

  Causal connection.  33 H. 576 (1935).

  Cancer.  34 H. 717 (1938).

  On death from cerebral hemorrhage as arising out of employment.  43 H. 94 (1959).

  Reasonable evidence of disease proximately caused.  43 H. 337 (1959).

  Where employee is injured on a business trip, employee's personal activities preceding the business activity are immaterial.  52 H. 242, 473 P.2d 561 (1970).

  Mental disabilities arising out of employment are compensable. 53 H. 32, 487 P.2d 278 (1971).

  Injury occurring off the premises during a coffee break is compensable if it occurred in course of reasonable and necessary activity incident to such break.  54 H. 66, 502 P.2d 1399 (1972).

  Influenza is a compensable injury.  59 H. 551, 584 P.2d 119 (1978).

  "Work connection" test to decide whether heart attack arose out of and in course of employment.  63 H. 642, 636 P.2d 721 (1981).

  Claimant's act of returning to claimant's employer's premises for the sole purpose of retrieving a piece of cake for claimant's personal enjoyment bore no relation to an incident or condition of claimant's employment; accordingly, there was no causal connection between claimant's injury and any incident or condition of that employment.  77 H. 100, 881 P.2d 1246 (1994).

  Employee's psychological stress injury not compensable as injury was direct consequence of disciplinary action imposed on employee for altering time cards and this prohibited conduct exceeded bounds of employment duties.  80 H. 120, 906 P.2d 127 (1995).

  Employee's injury suffered in crossing public street between employer's office and parking lot not in course of employment as parking lot not part of employer's "premises"; employer's office lease merely allowed employees to enter into independent parking stall rental contract with building management.  80 H. 150, 907 P.2d 101 (1995).

  Injury did not arise in the course of employment where assault on claimant, though occurring on employer's premises, emanated from personal dispute over auto accident.  80 H. 442, 911 P.2d 77 (1996).

  Where teacher-claimant allegedly administered corporal punishment in violation of work-rule prohibiting such conduct, claimant nevertheless sustained compensable stress-related injury from subsequent discipline as claimant was acting within course of employment at time of alleged misconduct.  85 H. 250, 942 P.2d 514 (1997).

  An employee's injury caused by a disease is compensable as an "injury by disease", pursuant to this section, when the disease (1) is caused by conditions that are characteristic of or peculiar to the particular trade, occupation, or employment, (2) results from employee's actual exposure to such working conditions, and (3) is due to causes in excess of the ordinary hazards of employment in general.  94 H. 70, 9 P.3d 382 (2000).

  In order to identify the "date of injury" required by the department of labor and industrial relations in connection with the filing of a workers' compensation claim under §386-82, a claimant in a case arising under the "injury-by-disease" prong of this section may rely upon the last day of employment as the "date of disability", but this "date of disability" may also be the date of diagnosis of the disabling condition.  94 H. 70, 9 P.3d 382 (2000).

  Under the doctrine of substantial deviation, employee was precluded from compensability for injuries received when trying to return employer's vehicle to employer's baseyard over seven hours after normal workday ended where employee left the scope of employment to embark on a purely personal and unauthorized journey to correct a sewer line problem on girlfriend's property halfway around the island, and had dinner, a few beers and a nap at the girlfriend's house.  100 H. 285, 59 P.3d 920 (2002).

  Although employee was not physically injured while taking promotion test, psychological injuries employee sustained caused by employee's dissatisfaction with the process for ranking individuals and the overall grievance and promotion process was compensable; injury that stemmed from that promotion process was incidental to the employment and resulted from an activity that served an important interest of the employer.  100 H. 481, 60 P.3d 882 (2002).

  Employee who sought compensation for the aggravation of employee's asthma resulting from exposure to vog at work was entitled to compensation.  131 H. 545, 319 P.3d 464 (2014).

  State employer's issuance of notice to improve performance, which caused employee to experience a psychological injury, was not "disciplinary action" as defined in §386-1 and used in this section.  Therefore, employee was not disqualified from receipt of workers' compensation benefits under the provision in this section barring claims for mental stress resulting solely from disciplinary action taken in good faith by the employer, given that:  (1) legislative history indicated an intent to permit mental injury claims arising from employer actions that were part of the disciplinary process but not "disciplinary action" itself because no sanction had yet been imposed; (2) notice highlighted performance deficiencies and referred to possible sanctions at the end of a three-month improvement period but did not impose sanctions at that time; and (3) civil service employee performance manual stated that the notice was not considered a disciplinary letter.  137 H. 450, 375 P.3d 229 (2016).

  Employee's injury not compensable where employee's injury occurred on public sidewalk outside of employer's business premises, did not occur during a lunch or recreation period, did not occur as an incident of employee's employment, employer did not expressly or impliedly bring after-hours drinking party within employee's orbit of employment and party did not benefit employer in any way.  87 H. 492 (App.), 960 P.2d 162 (1998).

  An intentional tort committed by a co-employee acting in the course and scope of his or her employment may be considered an "accident", as defined in this section, if the intentional act was directed against the employee because of the employee's employment; and a co-employee may be considered a "third person" as used in subsection (a).  128 H. 173 (App.), 284 P.3d 946 (2012).

  Cited:  2 F. Supp. 2d 1295 (1998); 24 H. 731, 733 (1919).