Hawaii Employment Law Decisions April 9 to April 15, 2017 – Jeffrey S. Harris

U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

District Court properly granted summary judgment against breach of duty of fair representation claim because former employee failed to sue within six-month statute of limitations after union’s time for asserting grievances expired. District Court properly dismissed for lack of jurisdiction breach of contract claim against employer because district court's jurisdiction over the contractual claim was contingent upon employee showing a triable fair representation claim against the union.  Haskin v. US Airways, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7039 (April 11, 2017).

U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii

District Court dismissed intentional infliction of emotional distress claim with leave to amend.  Section 301 LMRA preempted former employee’s claim because it was based on termination and required interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement.  District Court granted partial summary judgment against claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, because former employee’s recording of observations of a patient was part of her regular job duties and not protected activity sufficient to support a Parnar claim.  Bald v. Kuakini Med. Ctr., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54189 (D. Haw. April 10, 2017).

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.