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About The Hawaiʻi Labor Relations Board (HLRB)


The Hawaiʻi Labor Relations Board has original jurisdiction over matters filed under HRS Chapter 89 (Collective Bargaining in Public Employment) and HRS Chapter 377 (Hawaii Employment Relations Act).

The Board also hears appeals from Hawaiʻi Occupational Safety and Health (HIOSH) citations and orders issued under HRS Chapter 396 (Occupational Safety and Health).

HRS Chapter 89


What cases are heard?
HLRB hears multiple types of HRS Chapter 89 cases. However, the majority of the HLRB’s HRS Chapter 89 cases are “prohibited practice complaints”, where a complainant alleges a public employer, a public union, a public employee, or some combination, committed a prohibited practice. Complainants include employers, unions, and individual employees.

What is a “Prohibited Practice”?
HRS § 89-13 defines prohibited practices that can be raised. Prohibited practice complaints (PPCs) may be filed within 90 days of when the complainant knew or should have known about the prohibited practice. The Board must begin a hearing on the PPC no more than 40 days from the filing of the complaint unless the parties waive this requirement.

One thing from the Courts:
For an employee to succeed on a claim that the employer violated the collective bargaining agreement, the employee must demonstrate both that the employer’s actions were contrary to the relevant collective bargaining agreement and that the union’s conduct toward the member was arbitrary, discriminatory, and or in bad faith.

Poe v. Hawaii Labor Relations Board, 105 Hawaiʻi 97, 101-102, 94 P.3d 652, 656-57 (2004) PDF ADA

HRS Chapter 377


Who is covered under HRS Chapter 377?
The types of employees covered by HRS Chapter 377 are better defined by what they are not. HRS Chapter 377 covers collective bargaining in the private sector (not the public sector), but it does not cover those who are subject to the National Labor Relations Act.

What is an “Unfair Labor Practice”?
HRS §§ 377-6, 7, and 8 define unfair labor practices (ULPs) that may be committed by employers, employees, or any other person. ULP complaints may be filed within 90 days of when the complainant knew or should have known about the ULP. The Board must begin a hearing no more than 40 days from the filing of the complaint unless the parties waive this requirement.

One thing from the Courts:
To determine if an employer has met its statutory duty to bargain in good faith, HLRB must look to the “totality of the employer’s conduct” to determine if the employer has a present intention to find a basis for agreement and has made a sincere effort to reach a common ground.

Del Monte Fresh Produce Haw. v. Int’l Longshore & Warehouse Union, Local 142, 128 Hawaiʻi 289, 306, 287 P.3d 190, 207 (2012) PDF ADA

HRS Chapter 396


What is an appeal from a HIOSH citation or order?
There are typically two types of HIOSH cases that come before HLRB, namely appeals from citations of HIOSH violations and appeals from findings of violations of HRS § 396-8(e), discharge or discrimination against employees for exercising any right under HRS Chapter 396.

What types of hearings are held?
HLRB is authorized to hold de novo hearings, or hearings that review the evidence from the beginning. This means that evidence obtained in
the investigation and contained in the investigative file, as well as any additional documents or evidence submitted by the parties, may be considered by HLRB.

De novo hearings take the form of a trial, where each party will present its case through witnesses and exhibits.

One thing from the Courts:
[HIOSH’s] decision carries a presumption of validity and the party seeking to reverse the agency’s decision has the burden of making a convincing showing that decision is invalid.

Dir. Dept. of Labor and Indus. Relations v. Kiewit Pacific Co., 104 Hawaiʻi 22, 27, 84 P.3d 530, 535 (App. 2004) PDF ADA


1945    HRS Chapter 377 enacted, creating the Hawaiʻi Employment Relations Board (HERB) and permitting employees who are not subject to the Railway Labor Act or the National Labor Relations Act to participate in collective bargaining.

1968    Hawaiʻi Constitutional Convention adds collective bargaining rights for public employees.

1970    HRS Chapter 89 enacted, creating the Hawaiʻi Public Employment Relations Board (HPERB).

1985    HERB abolished, duties transferred to HPERB, and HPERB is renamed the Hawaiʻi Labor Relations Board (HLRB).

2002    HLRB authorized to conduct de novo hearings to review contests of HIOSH citations and orders.

About The Board's Seal

This seal was selected by the HLRB Board through a competitive selection process among the 2018-2019 Graphic Design Art Students, UH Manoa, Department of Art and Art History, Professor Chae Ho Lee. Lisa Chong’s design was selected among the proposals of her 13 classmates. For detailed information about the seal, please see below or click here for a PDF


Aia Hele Kakou means to trust and adhere in Olelo Hawaii. Its foundation is based upon the idea that the Hawaii Labor Relations Board upholds its mission and duty to the people of Hawaii in ensuring that the Hawaii Employment Relations Act, Collective Bargaining in Public Employment, and the Employment Safety and Health Laws, HRS, 377, 89, and 396, are enforced, respectively


The stars symbolize traditional Polynesian wayfinding navigation and the reliance and importance of a voyages’ starting and ending points. The star is also representative of the State of Hawaii’s 50th star in the American flag.


The Scales of Justice symbolizes fairness, impartiality, and no influence of bias or privilege. It also symbolizes equality under the law and the weighing of evidence for a just decision. It can be traced back to the ancient Egyptian myth of the Weighing of the Heart and its goddess of truth, justice, and order.


The Kalo leaf symbolizes the interdependency of the past, the present, and the future. The essence of procreation and regeneration, as the foundation of any sustainable practice. Kalo is the Hawaiian name for taro and was designated as the official state plant in 2007.


The Book of Law symbolizes knowledge in relation to the permanence and impartiality of the written law. It signifies the importance of judgment in finalizing decisions – dictating the permanence of both law and order.


In Hawaiian, it means “light” or “lamp” and is used for medicine, food, and lighting. The Kukui tree is symbolic of enlightenment, protection, guidance, and peace. The Kukui tree was declared the official state tree of the State of Hawaii in 1959. Its bloom is Molokai’s island flower.


The rising sun reference the sun image in the State of Hawaii Seal which represents the brilliance and dawn of Hawaii as a new state.


The Kapu Stick (Pulo’ulo’u) is symbolic of authority to represent and protect the people of Hawaii. It references the ancient Hawaiian code of law, putting emphasis on the enforcement of law and the penalty for breaking it. In ancient times, it was placed in front of the Ali’is home or court.


The three Sun Rays represent the three members of the Board, who are representative of Management, Labor, and the Public.


Blue is a color associated with trust, intellect, and piety, expressing authority and officialism. Gray is a neutral balanced color that possesses formal qualities that conveys a sense of composure and reliability. Together, the colors suggest security, heritage and stability–emitting a somber tone of order and justice.