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Conducting Criminal Record Checks in Hawaii

Filed under Office & HR.

Employers in Hawaii are permitted or required to conduct criminal record checks in accordance with these rules.

Hawaii has criminal background check laws for employment for:

  • public and private schools
  • adult foster and developmental disabilities homes
  • child care facilities and institutions
  • correctional facilities
  • the insurance business

The state of Hawaii may retain fingerprints of employment and licensing applicants for whom criminal history record checks are authorized statutorily so that the state can implement a statewide program which will allow employers to request notification if applicants are arrested in the future.

Staff members and prospective staff members of correctional institutions in Hawaii must undergo criminal history record checks. They must submit a statement under penalty of perjury indicating whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, other than a minor traffic violation, consent to a records check and be fingerprinted. Youth correctional facility staff members and new staff members must be fingerprinted within five working days.

A person may not provide or be hired to provide armed security services at airports without consenting to a criminal history records check, including a fingerprint check.

Private schools may consider criminal convictions in determining whether a prospective employee is suited to working in close proximity to children. Employees and applicants for certain education positions are required to undergo fingerprinting and a criminal history record check.

Similarly, hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, and other health care facilities are permitted to consider criminal records in determining whether or not an employee or prospective employee is properly suited to working in close proximity to vulnerable patients.

Hawaii allows employers to inquire about and consider an individual's criminal conviction record in the process of making a decision about hiring. The investigation may go back 10 years, but may only be made after a conditional job offer has been extended. If a conviction record bears a rational relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position, the conditional job offer may be withdrawn.

The criminal conviction (not arrest) records, going back 10 years, of current employees may be checked when making a decision about termination or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment, if a conviction bears a rational relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position.

In Hawaii, as part of a criminal background check, applicants to operate a child care facility and their prospective employees must submit fingerprints.

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against individuals based on arrest and court records.

Criminal record checks may be conducted by the Department of Health on all prospective employees of various health care facilities. In addition, the Department of Human Services may conduct criminal history checks on licensed adult day care center employees, foster grandparent program participants, and contracted service providers.

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