Family and Medical Leave

Under the Hawaii Family Leave Law and rules, an employee may be eligible for up to four (4) weeks of unpaid family leave each calendar year for the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for his / her child, spouse, reciprocal beneficiary, or parent with a serious health condition.

An employee may substitute his / her accrued paid leave (i.e., vacation or sick leave) for any part of the State Family Leave.  However, only the accrued and available sick leave in excess of the fifteen (15) days required under the State’s self-insured Temporary Disability Benefits Plan, can be applied toward family leave purposes.

To be eligible for State Family Leave benefits, an employee must have worked for at least six consecutive months with the State.

When the necessity for family leave is foreseeable, the employee must provide the employer with prior notice of their intended leave.

Under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an employee may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave during any 12-month period, which is defined as a calendar year for State employees, for the following reasons:

  • Birth of a child, and to care for the newborn child;
  • Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;
  • To care for the employee’s child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition;
  • If the employee suffers from a serious health condition that makes him / her unable to perform one or more of the essential functions of the job.
  • “Qualifying Exigency Leave” – The employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent is a covered military member on active duty or called to active duty status (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Armed Forces.

“Military Caregiver Leave” – also under the FMLA, may allow an employee to take up to 26 work weeks of unpaid leave in a “single 12-month period” to care for his / her military relative (spouse, child, parent, or next or kin) with a serious illness or injury incurred in the line of duty on active duty.

To be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee must have worked for the State for at least 12 months (need not be consecutive) and worked at least 1,250 hours over the 12-month period immediately preceding the request for leave.

If an employee qualifies for both State Family Leave and FMLA, both leave periods will run concurrently.  For example, if an employee takes family leave to care for his / her spouse with a serious health condition, he / she may take 4 weeks of State Family Leave and an additional 8 weeks of FMLA leave – a maximum period of 12 weeks.