Hawaii Maternity and Parental Leave Laws

Hawaii state law provides paid pregnancy disability leave and unpaid parenting leave.

By , J.D. · UC Berkeley School of Law

If you work in Hawaii, you're entitled to a "reasonable" amount of time off when you can't work due to pregnancy and childbirth. And, Hawaii is one of a small handful of states that provides cash benefits through temporary disability insurance (TDI). If you're eligible, you'll receive a portion of your wages while you're unable to work due to pregnancy and childbirth.

In addition, under the Hawaii Family Leave Law (HFLL), if you work for a company with at least 100 employees, you're entitled to four weeks of unpaid time off for parenting. These state laws are in addition to the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which gives eligible employees the right to take unpaid leave for pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.

Taking Time Off During Pregnancy in Hawaii

In Hawaii, your right to take pregnancy leave is protected by federal and state law. These laws prohibit pregnancy discrimination and provide for pregnancy leave.

Protection From Pregnancy Discrimination in Hawaii

The Hawaii Administrative Rules prohibit your employer from firing you because you need time off work due to a disability stemming from pregnancy or childbirth. The rules also require your employer to make reasonable accommodations if you're temporarily disabled by pregnancy and childbirth. (Haw. Rev. Stat . § 12-46-107(c).)

The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) requires your employer to treat pregnant employees who can't work the same as other temporarily disabled employees. So, although the PDA doesn't directly entitle you to time off for pregnancy, it does require that if your employer gives other employees with temporary disabilities time off, the company must give you time off too.

And the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) requires most employers to provide reasonable accommodations to workers with limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. Under this law, reasonable accommodations can include time off work. (Learn more about your right to take time off as a reasonable accommodation at work.)

Pregnancy Disability Leave Under Hawaii Administrative Rules

Hawaii's Administrative Rules require all employers, regardless of size, to allow employees to take leave when they're temporarily unable to work due to any of the following:

  • pregnancy
  • childbirth, and
  • related conditions.

If you're pregnant or just had a baby, you're entitled to take a "reasonable" period of time off, as determined by your doctor. (Haw. Rev. Stat. §12-46-106.)

Taking Pregnancy Leave Under the FMLA

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act gives eligible employees in Hawaii the right to take up to 12 weeks off work in a one-year period for serious health conditions, including pregnancy. To be eligible for FMLA leave, you must:

  • work for a company with at least 50 employees
  • have worked for your employer for at least 12 months, and
  • have worked at least 1,250 hours during the past year.

If you qualify, you can use the FMLA to take time off when you're unable to work because of your pregnancy and childbirth. And the FMLA allows you to take leave intermittently if it's medically necessary—even a few hours at a time. So you can take FMLA leave for prenatal care, including routine check-ups and doctor visits. (Learn more about FMLA leave for pregnancy and childbirth, including eligibility requirements.)

How Long Is Parental Leave in Hawaii?

The state's family leave law gives you the right to take up to four weeks of paternity or maternity leave in Hawaii in any calendar year. (Haw. Rev. Stat. §398-4.) To be eligible for leave under the Hawaii Family Leave Law, you must:

  • work for a Hawaii employer that has at least 100 employees, and
  • have worked for six consecutive months for the employer prior to the start of your leave.

Unlike the federal FMLA, there's no "minimum hours worked" requirement.

How Does FMLA Work in Hawaii?

The FMLA gives you the right to take time off to bond with a new child, but the qualifications are harder to meet. For FMLA parental leave, during the past year, you need to have worked for your employer for at least:

  • 12 months, and
  • at least 1,250 hours.

Under the FMLA, parental leave is part of your annual 12-week leave entitlement. So, if you use 2 weeks of FMLA leave during your pregnancy, you'll have only 10 weeks left to use for maternity leave or any other qualified reason.

You can use your FMLA parental leave a little at a time (for example, by working a shorter work day or work week), but your employer must agree to it. You aren't automatically entitled to use your parenting leave intermittently under the FMLA. (Under Hawaii's family leave law, you don't need permission to take leave intermittently. (Haw. Rev. Stat. §398.3(b).))

(Learn more about what's required to get FMLA maternity or paternity leave in Hawaii.)

Parental Leave When You Both Work for the Same Company

The FMLA entitles you to take up to 12 weeks of family or medical leave a year. Ordinarily, you could use all 12 weeks as maternity or paternity leave. But if you and your spouse work for the same company, your employer can limit the total amount of FMLA parental leave you both take to 12 weeks (as opposed to 24 weeks).

Whatever portion of your own 12 weeks of FMLA leave you don't use for parenting will still be available to you for other reasons, including your own serious health condition or a qualifying disability.

This restriction doesn't apply to time off under Hawaii's family leave laws. Hawaii law gives each spouse the right to four weeks off, and you don't have to combine your parental leave. In other words, you and your spouse could take four weeks off work (at the same time) when your child is born, or you might take your leaves back to back.

Do You Get Paid on Parental Leave in Hawaii?

When you need to take time off work for pregnancy and childbirth, at least some of your leave will likely be unpaid, depending on the following:

  • whether you take medical leave or family leave
  • how long your leave lasts, and
  • whether you qualify for state- or employer-sponsored benefits.

Do you get paid on FMLA in Hawaii? No. Federal FMLA pregnancy and parental leave is unpaid in every state, but you can ask your employer to use your accrued paid time off (like sick days, vacation, or PTO) to get paid during your leave. And your employer might require you to use this accrued pay when you take medical or family leave.

Do some companies offer private parental leave benefits? Your employer might offer paid benefits like:

  • maternity leave
  • paternity leave, or
  • parenting leave.

Are you eligible for paid leave under a temporary disability insurance (TDI) policy? If you're eligible, Hawaii's temporary disability insurance (TDI) program will provide some wage replacement while you're temporarily unable to work due to pregnancy and childbirth. (Haw. Rev. Stat. §392-21.) The TDI benefit is 58% of your average weekly wage, up to $798 per week (for 2024). Learn more about using Hawaii's TDI program for maternity leave, including eligibility requirements.

Check with your boss or the company HR department to learn about any paid (or unpaid) leave that's available to you.

Updated December 29, 2023

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