Hawaii Employment Decisions October 30, 2016 to November 5, 2016 – Jeffrey S. Harris

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

District court improperly held Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act preempted claim workplace sexually hostile.  Interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement was not necessary to decide her claim.  Agreement did not require employer to assign extra work to less senior men.  Matson v. United Parcel Service, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19927 (9th Cir. Nov. 4, 2016).

District court improperly granted summary judgment against claim for benefits under long term disability policy.  Employee who could not sit for more than four hours in eight-hour workday could not perform sedentary work that required sitting most of the time.  Armani v. Northwestern Mutual Life Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19925 (9th Cir. Nov. 4, 2016).

Statute of limitations suspended as to asserted members of employee class, until mandate on decision vacating certification order was filed.  Lee v. ITT Corp., 2916 U.S. App. LEXIS 19841 (9th Cir. Nov. 3, 2016).

District court properly granted summary judgment against disparate treatment claim.  Employee did not show employees similarly situated to her in all material respects were treated more favorably.  District court properly granted summary judgment against Title VII retaliation claim.  Employee did not provide evidence her complaints were a protest of discrimination protected by Title VII.  District court properly granted summary judgment against hostile work environment claim.  Employee did not provide evidence of conduct sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter conditions of employment and create an abusive work environment.  Keys v. Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19639 (9th Cir. Nov. 1, 2016).

U.S. District Court

District court denied motion to amend complaint as futile.  Six-month statute of limitations barred hybrid Section 301 claim.  HRS Section 378-32(a)(2) did not apply to seaman covered by Jones Act work injury provisions.  Section 301 preempted wrongful discharge claim under the Jones Act.  Bosworth v. Foss Maritime, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150772 (D. Haw. Oct. 31, 2016).

Note: We analyze cases to learn rules the courts will follow or disappoint us if they don't. Rules that the courts follow allow us to behave and provide explanations they accept. But competent advocates may limit the rules to the facts of the case where they are discussed, or expand rules by showing that differences in other cases are irrelevant.