In Hawaii, most employment is considered "at will". This type of employment follows the principle that either the employer or the employee may terminate the relationship at any time, for any reason. Basically, the only limitation or exception in an "at will" employment is that the termination must not conflict with the law.
Employment arrangements that do not qualify as "at will" are not subject to the same limitations and restrictions, so it is important that you know how your work setup is classified. Work arrangements that are based on an employment contract are often not "at will", and so they cannot be terminated except according to the contract provisions.
What are the Illegal Grounds for Terminating At Will Employment in Hawaii?
Discrimination is the most common illegal grounds for terminating an employee in Hawaii. Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee because of their race, religion, nationality, or gender. An employer also may not fire an at-will employee in retaliation for the employee initiating an investigation into discrimination or filing a legal claim of discrimination against the Makawao employer.
Further, the Family and Medical Leave act makes it illegal for employers to terminate any of their employees who have taken leave based upon family or medical needs. Lastly, employers cannot fire employees who are simply exercising a legal right, performing an obligation under law, or refusing to do an illegal act.
Do I Need a Hawaii Attorney for My Wrongful Termination Case?
Local Makawao, Hawaii lawyers can properly inform you regarding whether a wrongful termination has in fact occurred. They can also help you gather the necessary documents for your case, and can guide you through any procedures that may be unique or unfamiliar.