Hawaii Bill Goes Back to Connecticut for its PSL Future

Connecticut and Hawaii are not typically mentioned in the same employment law sentence but the drafters of the PSL bill wending through the Hawaiian legislature appear to have borrowed numerous concepts from Connecticut’s PSL law. In 2012, Connecticut became the first state to have a PSL law. In Hawaii, the Senate yesterday approved S.B. 425 and sent it to the House for its consideration.

surfer-940424_1280What are the Hawaii bill’s similarities to Connecticut’s law? As in Connecticut’s law, in Senate Bill 425:

employers with at least 50 employees must provide employees PSL;

employees exempt from the FLSA minimum wage and overtime requirements do not accrue PSL;

“service workers” accrue PSL, though the two states define “service workers” very differently. In Connecticut, employees who are in certain occupations defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics are “service workers.”  In the Hawaii bill, all hourly food service employees and all other hourly employees who work at least 20 hours per week, are service workers.

employees accrue PSL at the rate of one hour per forty hours worked, to a maximum of 40 hours annually;

an employee cannot use accrued PSL until the employee has worked 680 hours, which translates into 17 forty hour weeks;

an employee must have worked an average of at least 10 hours per week in the most recent calendar quarter to be eligible to use accrued PSL;

PSL can be used to care for a child over 18 only if the child is incapable of caring for him or herself due to a disability;

the definition of “employer” excludes “any nationally chartered [501(0(3)] organization that provides recreation, child care, or education services.” (emphasis added).  Connecticut excludes any such organization that provides recreation, child care and education services.  Given that Connecticut is the only other PSL law to have this exclusion suggests that Hawaii borrowed the concept, if not the precise wording, from Connecticut.

Of course, there are many differences between the Connecticut law and Hawaii Senate PSL bill. However, the similarities between the two leave no doubt that the drafters of the Hawaii Senate bill reached back to the first PSL state to craft a bill for Hawaii’s future.