If you have been sexually harassed at work in Hawaii, you have the right to file a claim with the state, as well as at the federal government level with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Both government agencies conduct thorough investigations into Hawaii workplace sexual harassment claims, some of which can lead to victims filing civil lawsuits that seek monetary damages for pain and suffering.
Filing a successful sexual harassment claim in Hawaii requires an abundance of compelling evidence, as well as witness accounts that corroborate the story of the victim filing the claim.
What Hawaii Laws Protect Against Sexual Harassment?
Hawaii has discrimination statutes in place that exceed the strict nature of federal anti-discrimination laws.
In addition to banning discrimination based on age, race, religion, and national origin, Hawaii also prohibits discrimination in the workplace that is based on gender and gender identity. Gender discrimination encompasses a wide variety of acts that include sexual harassment.
The Aloha State also has enacted a law that makes it illegal for employers to support or condone sexual harassment in the workplace.
Workers in the state have the legal right to file a formal complaint to recover the money lost because of missed time at work, as well as for any physical and emotional repercussions that result from being a victim of workplace sexual harassment. Hawaii has established clear parameters that define what constitutes work-related sexual harassment.
What is Considered Sexual Harassment?
The State of Hawaii defines sexual harassment as “unwanted sexual advances or other unwanted or offensive visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” This definition includes several acts of sexual harassment such as the following actions.
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- The offering of employment, benefits, and/or promotions in exchange for sexual favors
- Threats to demote or terminate a worker that refuses to engage in sexual behavior
- Non-verbal actions like making overtly sexual gestures
- Correspondence that makes obscene statements of a sexual nature
- Physical contact that includes touching, grabbing, and blocking movements
What Types of Employers are Covered by Workplace Sexual Harassment Laws in Hawaii?
Hawaii workplace sexual harassment law establishes the criteria for employers to be covered by state statutes. Every state public and private-sector employer that has at least 15 employees must follow the guidelines put in place for preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. The 15-employee minimum standard is also the standard set by the federal government.
Where Do You File a Sexual Harassment Claim in Hawaii?
If you are a victim of sexual harassment in Hawaii, you have the right to file a complaint with the Hawaii Human Civil Rights Commission (HCRC).
The HCRC operates at the following address:
- 830 Punchbowl St., Room 411
- Honolulu, HI 96813
Depending on where you live in the state, you can also reach the HCRC by phone.
- Oahu (808) 586-8636
- Kauai: 274-3141, Ext. 6-8636
- Maui: 984-2400, Ext. 6-8636
- Hawaii: 974-4000, Ext. 6-8636
- Lanai and Molokai: 1(800) 468-4644, Ext. 6-8636
You can also file a complaint with the EEOC, which has an office located in Honolulu.
- Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building
- 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 4-257
- Honolulu, HI 96850
- Office Hours: M-F 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
- Phone: (808) 541-3120
Because of COVID-19, all EEOC offices are closed. Accessing the online portal represents the best way to schedule a telephone interview to discuss your claim.
Filing a sexual harassment claim with either government agency automatically informs the other government agency of the claim.
Hawaii and the federal government have developed a work-sharing arrangement that improves the flow and accuracy of the information pertaining to sexual harassment complaints.
How Long Do I Have to File a Sexual Harassment Claim in Hawaii?
Time is critical when filing a sexual harassment claim. If you decide to file a claim with the HCRC, you must submit all paperwork within 180 days after the last incident of workplace sexual harassment.
Documenting every at of sexual discrimination in the workplace can help you determine the last date when you experienced sexual harassment.
Hawaii workers that file a sexual harassment claim with the EEOC have 300 days after the last incident of sexual harassment to file a complaint.
Get Help Filing a Sexual Harassment Claim in Hawaii
As a victim of sexual harassment in Hawaii, you might feel like there is no way to seek justice. Many victims of sexual harassment are unaware of the laws that prohibit the act of gender discrimination.
Contacting an employment attorney who handles sexual harassment in the workplace cases is a good start on the road to seeking justice from your employer.
Your lawyer can help you submit powerful evidence, as well as ensure that you meet the deadline for filing a claim.