Hawaii Employment Law Cases July 16, 2017 to July 22, 2017 – Jeffrey S. Harris

U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

District Court properly granted summary judgment against sex discrimination and retaliation claims because former employee failed to raise genuine dispute of material fact whether employer’s legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for adverse action was pretextual. District Court properly granted summary judgment against hostile work environment claim because former employee failed to show material fact whether there were sufficiently severe or pervasive terms of her employment. Gianelli v. Home Depot Inc., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13007 (9th Cir. July 19, 2017).

District Court properly granted summary judgment against ADA and rehabilitation act claims because former employee failed to raise a triable issue of fact whether hospital’s non-discriminatory reason for adverse employment action was pretextual. Former employee identified no similarly situated hospital employee without her disability who made life threatening medication errors but suffered no similar adverse employment action. District Court improperly granted summary judgment against FMLA interference claim because former employee raised triable issue of fact whether she requested FMLA leave before her resignation and whether the hospital interfered with her right to take leave under FMLA. Former employer did not inquire when employee said it might be a good idea for her to take FMLA.  Former supervisor said former employee was ‘putting bombshells between every week’ when he was trying to make a cohesive working schedule. Chatila v. Scottsdale Healthcare Hospitals, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12802 (9th Cir July 17, 2017).

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.