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Discrimination in Hawaii

Federal and Hawaii laws make it illegal for a business to discriminate against employees and job candidates based on a number of personal characteristics, such as gender, religion and skin color. If you think a company has discriminated against you, an employment discrimination attorney can help you file a claim with the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you're allowed to file a civil lawsuit against the company, your lawyer can also guide you through the litigation process.

Am I a Discrimination Victim?

It's not always easy to know if you've been the victim of employment discrimination. Let's look at what legally constitutes discrimination and some of the more frequently seen signs of discrimination.

Federal and Hawaii laws have designated a number of protected classes, or groups of people with specific characteristics that increase the likelihood that they'll be the victims of discrimination. It is illegal for employers to discriminate or treat workers and job applicants differently based on:

  • Gender
  • Race and skin color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Pregnancy
  • Age (if the individual is at least 40 years old)
  • Marital status
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability

Discrimination can occur in any number of aspects of the employment process. It can begin with the hiring process, such as a job ad that says a company is looking for "young, energetic employees." Once employees have been hired, companies may offer different pay and benefits to different groups of workers who are doing the same job or may favor particular groups of workers when scheduling shifts or considering candidates for job promotions. Companies that need to make job cuts might be tempted to lay off older employees who drive up health insurance premiums.

As an employee, you may hear overt statements by company managers that indicate they're discriminating against employees and job candidates. Or, you may simply see trends that only male employees are offered overtime shifts, for example.

If you think you're the victim of discrimination, you should take two immediate steps:

  1. Document any suspected discrimination. That means saving copies of written policies and memos that indicate or imply discrimination. It also means taking detailed notes about things you see and hear. Who was involved? What date and time did it occur? What was said or done?
  2. Next, you want to hire an employment discrimination lawyer and do so quickly. Under federal and Hawaii discrimination law, you must file a claim within 180 days of the suspected discrimination.

Find & Hire Local Hawaii Discrimination Attorneys

Whether you live in Honolulu, Hilo or elsewhere in Hawaii, can help you locate employment discrimination lawyers in your area. Call 877-913-7222 to use our free lawyer referral service, or complete the form on this page. After you answer a few simple questions, we'll quickly connect you with lawyers in your area.