Hawaii Employment Law Decisions from August 2, 2015 to August 8, 2015- Jeffrey S. Harris

District Court improperly granted summary judgment against former employee's retaliation claim, because supervisor's comments "I learned all about you" and "I spoke with another manager" a month before the employer began imposing discipline that lead to termination, and an appeals board's apparent departure from or possibly summary statement of the management's stated basis for the termination made former employee's prima facie case of retaliation.  Employer properly disciplined former employee for leaving the hospital without adequately notifying his attending physician and without following protocols for ensuring that another doctor would be attending to his patients.  Diederich v. Providence Health & Services, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13674 (9th Cir. Aug. 5, 2015).

District Court improperly granted summary judgment against former employee's age discrimination claim by showing that the agency considered age in general to be significant in making its promotion decisions, and that the supervisor who was involved in the promotion decision considered plaintiff's age specifically to be pertinent in considering the decision.  France v. Johnson, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13487 (9th Cir. Aug. 3, 2015).

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 that 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.