In responding to Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 13 (2006), the Bureau briefly
surveyed what other states are doing in three work-family policy areas: family leave and
medical leave, caregiver support, and child care. The salient findings of the survey are
- Family, Medical, and Maternity Disability Leaves
Hawaii is among five states that use a more expansive definition of "parent" than
the federal Family and Medical Leave Act's definition of a parent for whose
illness an employee may take family leave. Hawaii defines "parent" as a
"biological, foster, or adoptive parent, a parent-in-law, a stepparent, a legal
guardian, a grandparent, or a grandparent-in-law."
Hawaii and several states include what in Hawaii are referred to as reciprocal
beneficiaries, but Hawaii is the only state that includes grandparents and
grandparents-in-law in its definition of family member for the purposes of family
At least 40 states, including Hawaii, have laws or regulations allowing public
sector employees to use sick leave to care for certain ill family members.
However, significantly fewer states require private sector employers to allow
substitution of sick leave for family leave. Hawaii is among at least six other
states that have laws requiring private sector employers to allow workers to use
their sick leave to care for certain ill family members.
Five states (Hawaii, California, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island) and
Puerto Rico have state-administered temporary disability programs to provide
partial wage replacement for employees who are temporarily disabled for medical
reasons, including pregnancy and childbirth.
In 2002, California became the first state in the nation to provide paid family
leave by establishing the Paid Family Leave Insurance Program, where an
employee is allowed to use his or her own temporary disability insurance to care
for a family member with a serious health condition. No other state offers this
option of paid family leave to provide non-maternity related care for a family
Hawaii's family, medical, maternity, maternity disability, and parental leave
polices appear to be among the most generous when compared to other states.
Employed caregivers make personal, economic, and career sacrifices that affect
their families, employers, and communities. They experience increased
absenteeism, decreased physical well-being, diminished earnings, and loss of
savings due to caregiving expenses. They also report needing flexibility and
support at work.
The growth of America's older population (60 years of age and older) and the
significant increase of women in the workforce will continue to have major
impacts on employed caregivers and their employers.
States receive funds through the federal National Family and Caregiver Support
Program (NFCSP) to provide support services to: family caregivers of elderly
persons; older individuals providing care to persons with developmental
disabilities; and grandparents and other relatives who provide care for children 18
years of age and under.
Like other states that did not already have well-developed caregiver support
programs in place prior to the implementation of the NFCSP in 2000, Hawaii
faces limited funding sources and workforce shortages of trained long-term care
providers, such as social workers, nurses, and personal care workers.
Some states have continued to fund their own state-funded programs to
complement the NFCSP. At least six states use alternative funding sources, such
as lottery or tobacco settlement funds, to support family caregivers. State
revenues have been used to provide convenient and thorough access to
information sources, establish public/private partnerships, and provide respite
Labor union-sponsored assistance to caregivers and private sector initiatives in
caregiving have helped to mitigate the multi-faceted needs of employed
For many families, market rate child care costs are out of reach. Federal child
care subsidy programs can help income eligible parents pursue job training,
employment opportunities, and economic self-sufficiency. State funded child
care programs also help eligible families access child care in a variety of settings.
Hawaii's child care assistance policies for subsidized child care programs have
kept pace with other states in the areas of income eligibility limits, waiting
lists of eligible families, co-payments, and reimbursement rates to families
for child care fees. Hawaii is generally doing well in helping low income
families with accessing child care. However, families who do not quality for
subsidized child care have limited options.
Federal and state tax provisions for child and dependent care can offer some
financial assistance for families with their child care expenses. A family may be
able to reduce its federal income tax bill by claiming the federal child and
dependent care tax credit, which is not refundable. Hawaii's child and dependent
care tax credit is viewed as generous, when compared to other states, because it is
Best practice models in child care can be found in the public and private sectors.
The Department of Defense child care program used a systemic approach to
providing child care by simultaneously addressing quality, affordability, and
availability. Some states in the civilian sector have made gains in emulating the
Department of Defense's core strategies, but have suffered setbacks due to federal
and state funding constraints.
Private sector initiatives in child care range from on-site care, extended care, back
up care, financial assistance with child care, and flexible work arrangements to
before- and after- school care.