H.B. NO.














relating to employment.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that Hawaii's working families are not adequately supported during times of caregiving and illness.  While the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 allows twelve weeks of unpaid leave to employees who have worked at a business that employs fifty or more employees, the majority of Hawaii's workforce cannot afford to take unpaid leave when needing to provide care to a newborn, bond with a new child, or care for a family member with a serious health condition.  The legislature also finds that the Hawaii family leave law further restricts eligibility by extending only four weeks of unpaid leave to those employees who work at a business with more than one hundred employees.

     The legislature further finds that only eleven per cent of workers in the United States have access to paid family leave through their employers.  Approximately 247,000 people in Hawaii serve as family caregivers.  Hawaii has the fastest growing sixty-five-plus population in the nation, which is expected to grow by eighty-one per cent by the year 2030.  Of those who need leave but cannot take it, nearly one in three need leave to care for an ill spouse or parent.  Women, as primary caregivers of infants, children, and elderly parents, are affected disproportionately by the unavailability of paid family and medical leave.

     The purpose of this Act is to ensure that employees within the State are provided partial wage replacement during times when they need to provide care.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 398, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Part  .  Wage replacement for family and medical leave

     §398-A  Partial wage replacement; trust fund established.  (a)  There is established outside the state treasury, a trust fund to be known as the partial wage replacement for leave trust fund.

     (b)  The trust fund shall consist of employee contributions, the employee's contributions of which shall not exceed     per cent of each employee's wages per pay period, as well as interest earned and income, dividends, refunds, rate credits, and other returns received by the trust fund.  It is hereby declared that all sums contributed or paid from any source to the trust fund created by this part, and all assets of the trust fund including all interest and earnings of the same, shall be held in trust by the department for the exclusive use and benefit of employees and shall not be subject to appropriation for any other purpose.

     (c)  The trust fund shall be used to provide an eligible employee with twelve weeks per calendar year of paid family leave; provided that an employee shall not be paid more than sixty-six per cent of the employee's monthly wage.

     (d)  The trust fund shall be under the control of and administered by the department.

     §398-B  Wage withholding.  (a)  Each employer and employee shall make a contribution to the partial wage replacement for leave trust fund per pay period.

     (b)  If an employee's contribution to the trust fund is not withheld and transmitted to the trust fund, the employee shall pay    per cent of the employee's wage per pay period directly to the trust fund by the first day of each month."

     SECTION 3.  Section 398-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

     1.  By adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read:

     ""Trust fund" means the partial wage replacement for leave trust fund."

     2.  By amending the definition of "employer" to read:

     ""Employer" means any individual or organization, including the State, any of its political subdivisions, any instrumentality of the State or its political subdivisions, any partnership, association, trust, estate, joint stock company, insurance company, or corporation, whether domestic or foreign, or receiver or trustee in bankruptcy, or the legal representative of a deceased person, who employs one [hundred] or more employees for each working day during each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year."

     SECTION 4.  Section 398-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

     1.   By amending subsection (a) to read:

     "(a)  An employee shall be entitled to a total of [four] twelve weeks of family leave during any calendar year [upon the birth of a child of the employee or the adoption of a child, or to care]:

     (1)  To care for the employee's child within twelve months of the child's birth, or foster placement, or placement for adoption with the employee; or

     (2)  To care for the employee's child, spouse or reciprocal beneficiary, or parent with a serious health condition."

     2.   By amending subsection (e) to read:

     "(e)  Nothing in this chapter shall entitle an employee to more than a total of [four] twelve weeks of leave in any twelve-month period."

     SECTION 5.  Section 398-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending its title and subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows:

     "§398-4  [Unpaid leave] Leave permitted; relationship to paid leave; sick leave.  (a)  Pursuant to section 398-3[,] and section 398-A, an employee shall be entitled to [four] twelve weeks of family leave.  [The family leave shall consist of unpaid leave, paid leave, or a combination of paid and unpaid leave.]  If an employer provides paid family leave other than that required by this chapter for fewer than [four] twelve weeks, [the additional] that period of leave [added] shall be subtracted from the twelve weeks required by section 398-3 to attain the [four-week] twelve-week total [may be unpaid.], not including accrued sick or vacation hours.

     (b)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), an employee may elect to substitute any of the employee's accrued paid leaves, including but not limited to vacation, personal, or family leave for any part of the [four-week] twelve-week period in subsection (a)."

     SECTION 6.  Section 398-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.

     ["[§398-2]  Inapplicability.  The rights provided under this chapter shall not apply to employees of an employer with fewer than one hundred employees."]

     SECTION 7.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2015-2016 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2016-2017 for the purpose of hiring an administrator, an administrative assistant, and an accountant to administer the partial wage replacement for leave trust fund, including oversight of payroll deductions, administrative processes, and payment to eligible employees.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of labor and industrial relations for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 8.  In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

     SECTION 9.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

     SECTION 10.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 11.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2015.








Report Title:

Family Leave; Partial Wage Replacement



Requires twelve weeks of family leave.  Establishes a partial wage replacement for leave trust fund funded by employee wage withholdings.  Uses the trust fund to provide partial wage replacement for the weeks of family leave that are unpaid.  Appropriates moneys to administer the trust fund.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.