Blog Archives

Unemployment
Hawaii Employers to Pay Less UI Taxes in 2016

All throughout this year, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (“DLIR”) has announced a steady decline in the unemployment rate for the State of Hawaii.  In fact, in November 2015, the unemployment rate fell as low as 3.2%, which was the fourth lowest unemployment rate in the nation at the time.

decline

Earlier today, the DLIR issued a press release stating that the unemployment tax schedule will be set at Schedule C for 2016, which is one level lower than it was in 2015.  According to the DLIR’s calculations, employers will pay an average of $100 less per employee per year.  (For employers with a sizeable workforce, this could end up being a huge cost saving – e.g. 500 employees x $100 per employee = $50,000 for the year.)

You can review a copy of the DLIR’s press release here:  State Announces 26 Percent Reduction in Unemployment Taxes

 
2014 Legislative Session: Running Updates

Each year, the Hawaii Employers Council provides its members with updates on labor and employment law bills that are being addressed by the legislature. One of those documents, the Legislative Digest, is actually currently available to the general public, and can be accessed here:  HEC Legislative Updates.

Bills that are still alive as of the Second Lateral deadline address (1) the minimum wage, (2) payment of wages via direct deposit and pay cards, and (3) workers’ compensation drugs, fee schedule and settlements.

For the 2014 Legislative Session, the Legislative Digest is available for the following key deadlines:

  • Bills Introduced (available)
  • First Lateral (available)
  • First Crossover (available)
  • Second Lateral (available)
  • Second Crossover (available)
  • Sine Die  (available)
  • Veto Deadline (available)

As more deadlines pass, I will update this blog entry to indicate when the most recent Legislative Digest is available.

Other updates, such as articles providing a detailed explanation of several of the significant measures and talking points on certain bills, however, are available only to HEC members.

 
HEC Legislative Digest Updated After Adjournment Sine Die

The long days and late nights at the Capitol are over, and the 2013 Legislative Session has come to an end.

The Hawaii Employers Council (“HEC”) has an updated Legislative Digest for bills that were passed by the Legislature during the 2013 legislative session.  Fortunately for employers, only a few employment-related bills survived this legislative session.  A quick summary of the fate of employment bills from this year is as follows…

Bills that have already been signed into law by the Governor include:

  • Notice Period for UI Appeals Hearings
  • Pay Records and Pay Stubs

Bills that have been sent to the Governor for his approval (or veto) include:

  • Breastfeeding Break Time
  • Workers’ Compensation (“WC”) Medical Fee Schedule Study
  • Definition of “Small Employer” for Health Insurance

Bills that did not pass this year include:

  • Minimum Wage
  • Successor Employers and Employee Retention
  • Paycheck Withholdings for Restitution Cases
  • Organ Donor Leave
  • Social Media Password Privacy
  • Unemployment Insurance Contribution Rates Changes
  • Paid Sick and Safe Leave
  • Elimination of IMEs for WC Cases
  • Meal Breaks
  • Discrimination against Unemployed Individuals
  • Abusive Workplaces
  • GET Increase

In the next couple months, I will be giving several presentations on the 2013 legislative session, including HEC’s 2013 Legislative Update on June 21, 2013.  I will also be doing in-house presentations for several of HEC’s members and industry roundtable groups.  If you are able to join us at any of those presentations (and would like to find out what “OTBD” means), I hope to see you there.

To view the updated Legislative Digest, as well as an article highlighting several of the bills mentioned above, you can visit HEC’s website here:  HEC Offers Final Bill Summary for 2013 Session.

 
HEC Legislative Digest Updated After First Crossover

The Hawaii Employers Council has an updated Legislative Digest, following First Crossover.  Some of the bills that are still alive address the following areas of law:

  • Successor Employers and Employee Retention
  • Social Media Privacy for Employees and Job Applicants
  • Breastfeeding for Employees
  • Paid Leave for Organ, Bone Marrow, or Stem Cell Donation
  • Minimum Wage Increases
  • Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedule Increases

If you would like to view the Legislative Digest, you can view a copy here:  HEC Legislative Digest.

 
HEC Legislative Digest Now Available

Each state Legislative session, the Hawaii Employers Council prepares a Legislative Digest summarizing bills that may be of interest to Hawaii employers.  This year, the bills covered include those in the following categories:

  • Employment Practices and Employment Rights
  • Hawaii Family Leave Law
  • Wage and Hour – Minimum Wage
  • Wage and Hour – Miscellaneous
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Health and Insurance
  • Public Employees
  • Public Contracts
  • Government Agencies
  • General Excise Tax; Tax Credits
  • Miscellaneous

If you would like to view the Legislative Digest, you can view a copy here:  HEC Legislative Digest.