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The Conversation: Employer Liability During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Employer liability during the COVID-19 pandemic; Local companies using tech to solve community problems; Military COVID-19 data still a mystery in Hawaii; Kauai County looks to connect residents with jobs

Employer liability during the COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus continues to spread in the Islands. On Oahu, the number of clusters of COVID-19 positive cases in workplaces is soaring. What can businesses do to keep their workers safe without impeding their rights? Can an employee sue their boss if they get sick? What is an employer's liability? Kalani Morse, a partner at the law firm Durrett Lang Morse LLLP and a board member of the Society of Human Resource Management, Hawaii chapter, tells us about workplace liability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kalani Morse, partner, Durrett Lang Morse LLLP
Pixabay Commons
Credit Pixabay Commons

Local companies using tech to solve community problems

Hawaii Executive Collaborative's TRUE (Technology Readiness User Evaluation) Initiative is an effort to help solve problems across the community. Michelle Cheung, director of the TRUE Initiative, highlights the work underway. Click here to find out more about its webinar on local tech companies trying to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michelle Cheung, director, TRUE Initiative

Military COVID-19 data still a mystery in Hawaii

Commanders initially released COVID-19 case numbers on Hawaii bases until the Pentagon ordered them to stop. The state Department of Health has agreed to keep numbers secret, too. Civil Beat Politics & Opinion Editor Chad Blair tells us how this type of data is publicly available iin Guam, Japan and Korea but not here. Click here to read Kevin Knodell's story at

Civil Beat Politics & Opinion Editor Chad Blair
Credit Casey Harlow / HPR

Kauai County looks to connect residents with jobs

The pandemic shut down the state's economic driver, the visitor industry. When travel restrictions were lifted in June, employment on the Garden Isle saw a small increase of 1 to 5 percent, but those numbers are down again after the partial interisland travel quarantine was reimplemented on Aug. 11. Nalani Brun, director of the County of Kauai's Office of Economic Development, tells us about Kupaa Kauai, an effort to make it easier for its residents looking for jobs. Click here to learn more about Kupaa Kauai, Pulling Forward. Click here to visit the state's Workfore Development Division website.

Nalani Brun, director, County of Kauai, Office of Economic Development

Catherine Cruz is the Host of The Conversation and a member of HPR’s news team. She has been a television reporter in Hawai‘i since 1983 and has won a number of awards and respect from a statewide audience. She spent more than thirty years at KITV, covering beats from government to education and health. Originally from Guam, Cruz is also a co-founder and former Board member and programming chair of Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC). Catherine is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
Lillian Tsang is Senior Producer with The Conversation. She has been a part of the talk show team since TC first aired on February 14, 2011. Born and raised in Honolulu, she received her BFA from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her art career melded with radio after her glass-blowing partner, Anthony Borgioli, introduced her to the college radio station, KTUH. Bitten by the broadcasting bug, Lillian went on to produce and host a her own show “Planet of Sound” for almost a decade. It was a fellow KTUH DJ who told her about a job opening at Hawaiʻi Public Radio as an overnight/weekend board operator. She's since transitioned to a full-time day job and happily part of the HPR ʻohana.
Jason Ubay is HPR's news editor. Send your story ideas to him at
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