Hawaii Employment Law Cases from December 31, 2017 to January 6, 2018 – Jeffrey S. Harris

U.S. District Court District of Hawaii

District Court denied motion to dismiss aiding and abetting claim against individual defendant, because complaint easily met requirement of alleging aiding-and-abetting individual defendant was person who incited, compelled, or coerced discriminatory actions against former employee and another, different defendant or employee was person who was incited, compelled, or coerced into taking discriminatory actions against former employee.  District Court denied motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.  Out of state defendant allegedly aided and abetted another individual harassing former employee, by failing to investigate former employee’s complaints and/or implement remedial measures.  Out of state individual defendant allegedly aided and abetted another individual unlawfully terminating former employee’s employment in retaliation for her complaints, by facilitating phone call during which in state defendant fired the former employee and drafting the termination letter, which allegedly cited her harassment complaints as the basis of her termination, knowing she was a Hawaii resident.  Sirois v. East West Partners, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2575 (D. Haw. Jan. 5, 2018).

District Court dismissed intentional infliction of emotional distress claim based on two year statute of limitations, as to incidents that occurred outside two years statute of limitations and were at best discrete acts of discrimination against former employee.  Alleged continuing ill effects were not sufficient to apply the continuing violation doctrine.  The dismissal was without prejudice, because former employee could re-plead based on discovery documents allegedly revealing the alleged outrageous character of the incidents not previously referred to in complaint.  District Court dismissed aiding and abetting claim against individual based on incident that allegedly occurred more than 180 days before charge of discrimination was filed, but former employee could support timely aiding and abetting claim based on facts related to time barred incident.  Aiding and abetting claim against the individual was plausible, because his letter postponing hearing on charges against former employee played significant role in the alleged retaliation against her.  Begley v. Cty. of Kauai, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1843 (D. Haw. Jan. 4, 2018).

Note: We analyze cases to learn rules courts will follow or disappoint us if they do not. Rules courts follow allow us to behave and provide explanations they accept. Competent advocates may limit the rules to the facts of the case that discuss them, or expand the rules by showing differences in other cases are irrelevant.