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Updated: June 13, 2024

What Hawaii employers should know about workers' comp coverage and protecting employees

Published By:

Jon Davis

Hawaii's workers' compensation insurance requirements

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It’s a must for most employers in Hawaii to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but understanding the ins and outs can be tricky. That’s why we’re here to provide you with the details on what it covers and how to stay compliant.

What does workers’ compensation provide?

Worker’s compensation is designed to replace a portion of an employee’s wages should they become sick or injured while on the job. This protects your employees and can also be beneficial for employers. Why? When workers’ compensation is in place, employees typically cannot sue their employers for losses resulting from illnesses or injuries sustained at work.

What are Hawaii’s workers’ comp requirements for employers?

Any employer with one or more employees, full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary, is required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees, except where excluded by law.


Some exceptions include voluntary or unpaid workers for a church, charity, school, or nonprofit organization; students working for a school, university, or college in exchange for room, board, or tuition; authorized ministers, priests, or rabbis; domestic workers making less than $225 each calendar quarter, people providing domestic services to public welfare recipients, some 25% stockholders, all 50% stockholders, and real estate salespersons and brokers compensated totally on the basis of commissions.

How do Hawaii employers purchase a workers’ compensation policy?

If you’re an employer in Hawaii and need workers’ compensation insurance, there are two options, per Hawaii’s Disability Compensation Division. One option to consider is purchasing a policy from an authorized private insurance carrier, which can provide you with the coverage you need. However, you can’t require your employees to pay any of the premium costs. Your other option is to become self-insured, which means paying out the benefits directly to the employee. To qualify, you need to prove you have the financial ability to pay and meet the director’s requirements.

What happens if an employer in Hawaii does not have workers’ comp?

Employers who don’t follow Hawaii workers’ compensation law can face more than a slap on the wrist. Fines and penalties can add up to $100 per employee per day. In addition, companies that fail to provide workers’ comp protection also leave themselves open to employee lawsuits to recover benefits that should have been paid.


What should your employees do if they get sick or injured while on the job?

In the event of a work injury, your employee should immediately report the incident to you (or their supervisor). Employers must fill out the “Employer’s Report of Industrial Injury” (WC-1) form and submit it to the Disability Compensation Division within seven working days of the incident (and also provide a copy to the employee).

Workers’ comp resources for Hawaii employers

Coverage that’s worth a closer look

Worker’s compensation is a safety net for employees who suffer work-related injuries to receive medical care and wage loss compensation (if they need to take time away from work). And the benefits of worker’s compensation insurance don’t stop there. Employers can rest easy knowing it is unlikely they will face costly lawsuits from their employees since the insurance covers most situations related to workplace accidents and illnesses. Overall, Hawaii workers’ compensation insurance offers peace of mind and protection for everyone involved in the workplace.


Please note all material in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute tax, benefits or legal advice. You should always contact a qualified tax, legal or financial professional, in your area for comprehensive tax or legal advice.

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Jon Davis is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager at OnPay. He has over 15 years of experience writing for small and growing businesses. Jon lives and works in Atlanta.