Hawaii Employment Law Cases September 24, 2017 to September 30, 2017 – Jeffrey S. Harris

U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

District Court properly granted summary judgment against discrimination claim.  Former employee failed to raise a triable issue of fact whether he was performing according to employer’s legitimate expectations.  Employee committed three "serious offenses" under the collective bargaining agreement in a relatively short time span—any one of which could have formed the basis for immediate termination.  Non v. Comcast, Inc., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18924 (9th Cir. Sept. 29, 2017).

Former employee’s successful retaliatory termination claim did not bar her later retaliatory refusal to hire claim.  The refusal to hire claim arose from events that occurred after she filed her retaliatory termination complaint.  Former employee’s recovery of economic damages based on her termination prevented her from recovering economic damages for the same period based on the refusal to hire, but not punitive damages.  No reasonable jury could find former employee’s first suit was reason for refusal to hire, because employer showed it would not have hired terminated employee instead of more desirable employee for position.  Howard v. City of Coos Bay, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18522 (9th Cir. Sept. 25, 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.