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Hotel Updates

We have announced that we will be temporarily closing the hotel effective March 28th to June 1st, 2020. Some of the questions below may not be applicable moving forward.
UPDATED             5:00PM  11/5/2020

The Hawaiสปi Lodging and Tourism Association has been working hard providing food distribution opportunities for the thousands of impacted hospitality workers during this pandemic.
Food Distribution November 7, 2020


Aloha Colleagues,
We realize during this unprecedented time there is many questions and concerns that are arising. Please review the specific questions and answers below. If you have additional questions please reach out to your managers as they may have answer. If not your managers will reach out to leadership to answer your pending question.

Unemployment Questions

Can I qualify for unemployment if I am working partial week?

It depends. If you work more than 20 hours or earn more than $648 in earnings you will not qualify for unemployment per the State of Hawaii. Please go on and file and the employer will report this information to the unemployment office.

If a colleague passes shifts, can they still collect unemployment?

  • It depends. If you work more than 20 hours or earn more than $648 in earnings you will not qualify for unemployment per the State of Hawaii.
  • If a colleague drops their schedule in their classification to be below 20 hours or $648 in earnings you will not qualify. To be safe donโ€™t drop your hours below 20 hours a week.
  • If you call out sick for one of your shifts you were scheduled to work, you will not qualify for unemployment.
  • If you were on call and refuse to come into work, you will not qualify for unemployment.

If I call in sick or utilize my sick leave will I qualify for unemployment?

No. If you are out for a shift at any point in time during the week this would disqualify you from unemployment.

Where can I file for unemployment?

You can file online at or call in at:

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced the availability of two phone numbers to help process unemployment claims while working on fixing the current online claims filing process. The phone numbers will be available during normal business hours 7:45am โ€“ 4:30pm. The following phone numbers are for resetting passwords and making appointments for over-the-phone applications:

Password reset: +1 (808) 762-5751

Phone appointments: +1 (808) 762-5752

Online: https://huiclaims.hawaii.gov

The local unemployment offices remain closed to walk-in and in-person services so employees must complete and file the initial claim form online.
Individuals may file online between 6:30am to 11pm (HST), Monday to Friday or between 9am to 11pm (HST) on weekends and holidays.

Informational video on how to file:   http://labor.hawaii.gov/ui/instructional-video-for-filingunemployment-insurance-online/ 

What type of unemployment claim should I be submitting?

All of our colleagues are considered employed at this time with a reduction in hours. Please select โ€œstill employed, reduced hours by employer.โ€ 

What if I selected the wrong thing while filing for unemployment i.e. laid off/lack of work, full unemployment?

You will need to contact unemployment to amend your application. You can reach out to the following numbers: 
808-586-8980 or 808-586-8970.  These numbers are available 7:45 a.m. โ€“ 4:30 p.m. Mondayโ€“ Friday 
Another option for the employee is to go online and โ€˜reactivateโ€™ themselves in the system with your company as a โ€˜newโ€™ employer.  Yes, I know that this does not make sense but this will allow them to change their status.  When enrolling themselves, for the last day worked they should use the date of their last worked shift.  
For those employees who are receiving rejection emails, they more than likely receiving the denial for benefits because they are loaded as FULLY unemployed and the system is looking for a new employer to match up the hours with. 
These employees have also, more than likely, received an email to register with Workforce Development.  This is part of the FULL unemployment process.  Unless they change their status to PARTIAL, they will be required to start job searching and apply to at least 3 employers per week. 

If I can’t access the unemployment office can HR help me?

Unfortunately no. Unemployment is governed by the state of Hawaii. Human Resources cannot add or override the system in any way. Please keep trying to apply. The unemployment office may change its policy in the future based on the influx of employees filing and filing late claims.

Who should I contact if I am having issues with unemployment? 

If unemployment states you are being denied for l unemployment please verify the following: 
1. Did you file as still employed with reduced hours? If not contact unemployment to update. 
2. Did you file for PTO which was paid out during the week you filed? If so, they we see that earnings and if it exceeds your maximum amount they will not pay out unemployment. 3. Did you file as a Full Time employee when you may be on call or part time status? The hotel will report your status to unemployment. We are doing hours audits to verify if your current status is accurate. 

Please contact the Human Resources Department to review possibly why the claim was denied. You can email us at group-humanresources@kahalaresort.com.  Please lets us know your full name and phone number to contact you back at.

I received a letter from unemployment that my claim was denied? 

If your claim was denied please appeal it with the unemployment office as soon as possible. Work with the unemployment office to understand why your claim was denied i.e. length of service, status, quarterly earnings threshold. At this time Human Resources is not denying any unemployment claims but depending on the Unemployment Offices parameters to qualify you may have not met them. We will continue to be reporting our colleagues at โ€œstill employed, reduction in hoursโ€ along with any hours or wages earned each week that you file. 

When will I get paid out unemployment? 

The unemployment offices are stating that unemployment claims should be paid out 3 weeks after filing and they are hoping to get this to employees sooner. Please continue to check the news and unemployment site for updates on your claims. 

When will I get paid out the federal government additional $600 per week? 

From what the unemployment office has stated this is uncertain at this time as they are working with the government on how to process these additional funds. Please continue to check the news and unemployment site for updates on your claims. 

Sick Leave Questions

Can I call in sick if I donโ€™t have a schedule?

No. Sick will only be paid out if you were scheduled to work for the day.

If I call out longer than 2 days do I need a doctorโ€™s note?

Yes. We are still requiring doctorโ€™s notes to be turned in. You can turn them in via email, scan, photo, or fax from the doctor. No need to physically bring them in to the office. Your note must state a release to work date. You will not be paid out sick until this doctorโ€™s note is received.

Email: group-humanresources@kahalahotel.com Fax: +1 (808) 739-8810

If I already have FMLA on file or I received FMLA leave can I utilize my sick?

Yes, but the FMLA must be approved and documented by a doctor as protected time off to qualify for sick leave. We will not be pay out sick leave prior to getting the approved documentation by a doctor. We will also not pay out sick leave if there is no scheduled shift to work.

If I want to take time off to take care of my elderly family will this qualify for sick?

No. Unless you have this covered by FMLA and you are considered their primary caretaker because they are ill this time cannot be covered by sick. You will need proper documentation to support this. We will also not pay out sick leave if there is no scheduled shift to work.

Can I use FMLA to cover my time off?

Leave taken by an employee for the purpose of avoiding exposure to the flu would not be protected under the FMLA. We will encourage employees who are ill with pandemic influenza or are exposed to ill family members to stay home and we will consider flexible leave policies for our employees in these circumstances.

The FMLA protects eligible employees who are incapacitated by a serious health condition, as may be the case with the flu where complications arise, or who are needed to care for covered family members who are incapacitated by a serious health condition.

There is currently no federal law covering non-government employees who take off from work to care for healthy children, and employers are not required by federal law to provide leave to employees caring for dependents who have been dismissed from school or child care.

Can I use the Families First COVID Relief Act that just passed to cover my time off? 

In order to utilize the Families First Covid Relief Act you first need to be scheduled to work. If you are scheduled to work and cannot come to work for the below following reasons, you must provide documentation to support you reason for being out: 
Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee: 
1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
5. is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or
6. is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury. 
Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for expanded family leave if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19. 

If you are scheduled to work and cannot come to work for the following reasons listed above please contact Human Resources and we can determine if you qualify for this leave. 

Will I be written up if I call out sick for my shift?

The excessive absentee policy is put on hold until the foreseeable future. No one will be disciplined or documented for calling out sick from work. If you are sick we want you to stay home.


Can I travel?

Effective immediately we are mandating any colleagues who are traveling off island to self-isolate themselves for 14 days from the day they returned back to Oahu. The CDC has already mandated self-isolation from Level 3 countries to self-isolation and recommended steps for Level 2 countries. The state of Hawaii is looking at mandating all travelers who fly in to self-isolation for 14 days. The state of Hawaii has mandated that any of their state colleagues who travel, even inter-island, to self-isolation for 14 days as well. You can read more about travel restrictions at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices. This is a drastic measure but we want to do our part to ensure that we are keeping the safety and health of our colleagues, guest, and community as a priority. When we reopen we will be reevaluating the CDC and State travel restrictions.

What if a colleague is currently traveling?

For those departments who currently have colleagues travelling off island we ask that they self-isolate themselves for 14 days from the day they land back in Oahu. We ask that they contact their manager and HR to verify when they will be able to return back to work.

What if I have plans to travel?

For colleagues that are currently on island we ask that they postpone or cancel non-essential travel they have throughout this month of April. If they chose to travel off island they will be asked to contact HR and their manager as they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return depending on the current situation with COVID-19 and business levels.

How can I be paid for this time off?

If a colleague is required to self-isolate, they can utilize PTO or Vacation. If a colleague is scheduled to work and they have to self-isolate they can use sick leave. If they do not have paid leave, then they can file for unemployment. HR will need the validation of return tickets with dates to ensure colleagues get paid.

What if someone in my household travelled?

At this time if you are in the same household as other who have travelled we ask that you be aware of their health and if they are sick then please self-quarantine yourselves for 14 days. We want to make sure we are taking as many precautionary measures for your safety and the safety of others. We have to trust that you will take this mandate seriously.

When will this change?

We will be abiding by the Center of Disease (CDC) in regards to travel and the state of Hawaii recommendation to assess our needs to make sure we are creating a safe environment for everyone at the hotel. The CDC guidance and State of Hawaii guidelines are changing daily due to the global impact of COVID- 19, they currently recommend that anyone who has travelled to do the following:

โ€œMonitor your health and practice social distancing for 14 days after you return from travel. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possibleโ€

Since we are a large employer and we have close contact with multiple colleagues daily in bigger groups we ask that you stay home to practice social distancing after travel. For any colleagues that may have questions about their travel they can call the Human Resources office or email us at group-humanresources@kahalaresort.com. This policy will remain in effect for the foreseeable future until CDC and State of Hawaii updates its travel advisory.

Employment Questions

Will colleagues be penalized if they donโ€™t pick up their direct deposit pay stub?

No. We will be mailing out pay stubs and live checks while we are closed.

If I donโ€™t pay my parking prior to the first of the month as I donโ€™t have shifts will I get penalized?

No. We will be adaptable to the parking situation as business rise.

Will I be charged for parking in April or while we are closed?

No parking will not be charged for our colleagues during the closure.

How will my vacation be paid out and what if I want to cash it out?

Vacation will be paid out according to the colleagueโ€™s position and language in the CBA. Please refer to the contract for details on your position. If you would like to cash out your PTO contact your manager to process.

If a Union colleagues hasnโ€™t made a year can I get paid out my vacation in advance?

No. This is notated in the CBA. You need to qualify based on compensable hours worked to earn vacation. This cannot be validated until you make that year.

If my birthday holiday falls within the closure will I lose it?

No. We will extend and look at utilizing your birthday holiday once we reopen the hotel and you have hours to work.

If my anniversary is coming up when we are closed and I will be maxed out on my vacation will I lose it?

We are still taking vacation requests from colleagues.  If you have time to use your vacation prior to your anniversary date we ask that you submit the minimal amount of vacation to be used so you don’t max out on your vacation bank.

If I have a 401K loan with Vanguard what will happen if I am not getting paid?

Under IRS regulations, employees with plan loans who are placed on unpaid leave of absence or furloughed may forego making loan payments during the leave of absence without triggering taxation of the loan as long as the following requirements are met:

1. The furlough period must not exceed one year.
2. The loan must be repaid by the end of the original term of the loan. The loan payments missed during the furlough period may be repaid by either continuing the original rate of repayment, with a balloon payment of the missed installments at the end of the term, or by increasing the installments during the remainder of the repayment period. This requirement poses potential practical problems in the case of an employee who is furloughed near the end of the original term of the loan.

If I would like to take out a 401K loan or Hardship withdrawal, who can assist? 

If you are a union colleagues you will need to contact the group plan administrations for all loans and hardship withdrawals: 
Phone:  (808) 523-9411 

If you are a non-union colleagues and have a 401K loan with Vanguard, you will need to contact grouphumanresources@kahalaresort.com . If you would like to take Hardship Withdrawal reach out to HR and we can process in house. 
Phone: (800) 523-1188 

Website: https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/ 

Will the hotel pay for union colleague medical benefits when they are not working?

We are looking to see if this is financially an option at this time. If colleagues have made their 80 hours in March they should be covered for benefits until end of June. Please check with the Trustfund to understand if you have an additional bank that will cover you through July. The hotel does not have this information.

Trustfund/BRMS Website: www. Unitehere5trustfundbenefits.com or 8085-523-0199

Why I am not receiving the Zingle Texts?

Some individuals may not be receiving the zingle text because of the following:
1. They did not put a mobile phone number on file.
2. There cellphone carrier is blocking the text as it may be reporting it as spam. The number is 808- 784-7004 if you would like to Opt in and unblock the number. Contact your cellphone carrier service.
3. They may be in a poor cell service area

Is Human Resources open during the closure?

Effective March 24th the Human Resources Office on property is closed until June 1st. Date subject to change. Human Resources will still be available for colleague question/concern via email and phone. We will also continue to update the FAQ as we get general questions that pertain to all colleagues and send out zingle text messages to inform you of updates. You can access the FAQ here: https://kahalako.wpengine.com/faq-covid19.

  • If you would like to email us with a question/concern please email the following: group-humanresouces@kahalaresort.com
  • If you would like to call us you can reach us at +1 (808) 739-8809. Please leave a detailed voicemail with your name, telephone number, department, and question/concern. One of our Human Resources colleagues will return your call as soon as possible.

Email and Phone Call Hours will be Monday to Friday 8:00am โ€“ 5:00pm.

Mahalo for your understanding to the change in operations and please keep safe and healthy during this time.

If I have paperwork to be sent to Human Resources where can I send it?

You can send it the following ways:
1. Fax 808-739-8810. We will be checking the faxโ€™s periodically.
2. You can scan or send the document to group-humanresources@kahalaresort.com
3. Depending on the size of the document you can also take a picture and email at grouphumanresources@kahalaresort.com

Can the hotel provide a Hardship letter for my creditors?

See below under Forms

Who can I submit my vacation request or vacation changes to?

You can send your request for leave forms to group-humanresouces@kahalaresort.com or your division head. We will be processing all vacation requests during the normal payroll cycle. You can find the request form at the bottom of the page at https://kahalako.wpengine.com/faq-covid19.

What if I had a vacation in for a vacation bid and I want to withdraw it at this time? 
If you currently have a vacation in for this time which the hotel is closed we will process it through payroll. If you wish to cancel you vacation for your vacation bid  please contact us at group-humanresouces@kahalaresort.com. When we open back up for business we will reevaluate the rest of the vacation bids for 2020. 
What if I need guidance on my financial situation or anxieties I having during this time? 
As colleagues of The Kahala Hotel and Resort we provide a free Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This service can provide you with the following: counseling, coaching, legal consultation, financial consultation, Healthcare navigation, and more. This service is completely free and confidential. 
You can reach out to them at https://www.eapacific.com/ or 808 597-8222. 
In addition, Aloha United Way has also loaned their services to our employees and the community.  They are providing assistance with food, shelter, clothing, crisis intervention, emergency relief, rental, utility assistance and much more.   You can reach them at phone #: 211 or www.AUW211.org 


Hardship Letter
Request for Leave
Certification of Ilness or Injury

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and drop in business we will update you on questions we receive and will update the FAQ to send out to the hotel. We look forward to welcoming you all back as soon as business returns and the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Hotel Leadership Team