Hawaii Employment Law Decisions from December 27, 2015 to January 2, 2016 – Jeffrey S. Harris

U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii

District court denied motion for certification federal wage and hour collective action, because different employment settings of putative representatives and class members and defenses available to the employer evidenced no compelling or unifying nexus created by a common policy or plan of the employer that would lend itself to a collective approach, and permitting the case to proceed as a collective action would be neither efficient nor economical.  District court denied motion for certification of state wage and hour class action, because there were less than 10 potential plaintiffs, common issues could not be resolved for each class member in a single adjudication because work performed by each varied widely and the factors regarding superiority of concentrating the claims did not weigh in favor of certification.  District court granted motion to compel arbitration of claims by putative plaintiffs and class members who signed arbitration agreement, because the general choice of law provision in the agreement did not state that Hawaii law governed the question of arbitrability, the federal law of arbitrability governed by default, the agreement incorporated commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association rules and the rules delegated the question of arbitrability to the arbitrator.  Pelayo v. Platinum Limousine Services, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173580 (D. Haw. Dec. 30, 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 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.