Hawaii Amends its Ban the Box Regulation

October 1, 2020 Accurate Background

On September 15, 2020, the State of Hawaii passed a bill to amend their existing Ban the Box legislation which prohibits most employers from considering felony convictions beyond seven (7) years, and misdemeanor convictions beyond five (5) years, excluding periods of incarceration.  

The Basics

Location: State of Hawaii

Legislation:  SB 2193 https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2020/Bills/GM1156_.pdf

Type: Ban the Box 

Effective: September 15, 2020 

Key Takeaways

  • This law revises the current look back period for employers to consider criminal convictions from ten (10) years to seven (7) years for felonies, and five (5) years for misdemeanors, excluding periods of incarceration.
  • Prohibits employers from inquiring about an individual’s past conviction records for more than seven (7) years for felony convictions, and five (5) years for misdemeanor convictions, excluding periods of incarceration.
  • Prohibits employers from inquiring about past conviction records, until after a conditional offer of employment has been extended.

Who is impacted by this Ordinance?

This law applies to most employers in the State of Hawaii.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes, this law shall not apply to employers who are expressly  permitted to inquire into an individual's criminal history for  employment purposes pursuant to any federal or state law including:

 (1) The State or any of its branches, political subdivisions, or agencies pursuant to sections 78-2.7 and 831-3.1;

(2) The department of education pursuant to section 16 302A-601.5;

(3) The department of health with respect to employees, providers, or subcontractors in positions that place them in direct contact with clients when providing non-witnessed direct mental health services pursuant to section 321-171.5;

(4) The judiciary pursuant to section 571-34;

(5) The counties pursuant to section 846-2. 7 (b) (5), (33), (34), (35), (36), and (38);

(6) Armed security services pursuant to section 261-17(b);

(7) Providers of a developmental disabilities domiciliary home pursuant to section 321-15.2;

(8) Private schools pursuant to sections 302C-1 and 378-3 (8);

(9) Financial institutions in which deposits are insured by a federal agency having jurisdiction over the

financial institution pursuant to section 378-3(9);

(10) Detective agencies and security guard agencies pursuant to sections 463-6(b) and 463-8(b);

(11) Employers in the business of insurance pursuant to 15 section 431:2-201.3;

(12) Employers of individuals or supervisors of individuals responsible for screening passengers or property under title 49 United States Code section 44901 or individuals with unescorted access to an aircraft of an air carrier or foreign carrier or in a secured area

Are there any penalties?

A complaint may be made by an applicant to the state of Hawaii Human Rights Commission.


  •  We recommend employers review and if applicable update their pre-employment questionnaires to align with this bill.
  • If applicable employers should review and update employment policies and procedures to reflect the new look back period.
  • For clients who want Accurate to adjust the reporting protocol for Hawaii, please contact your Accurate Account Representative to request a change.
  • We recommend employers review and discuss with your legal counsel your organization’s policies and procedures to ensure continued compliance with the changing laws and regulations.


Please note:  The information provided above is strictly for educational purposes.  It is not intended to be legal advice, either expressed or implied.  Accurate Background recommends that you consult with your legal counsel regarding all employment regulations.

Previous Article
Montgomery County, Maryland Amends its Ban the Box Regulation
Montgomery County, Maryland Amends its Ban the Box Regulation

Next Article
City of Waterloo, IA Enacts a “Ban the Box” Legislation
City of Waterloo, IA Enacts a “Ban the Box” Legislation