Hawaii Employment Law Decisions from February 1, 2015 to February 21, 2015 - Jeffrey S. Harris

Plaintiffs stated wage and hour claim by identifying tasks for which they were not paid and alleging that they regularly worked more than eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a week. Boon v. Canon Business Solutions, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2449 (9th Cir. Feb. 18, 2015).

District court properly granted summary judgment against again applicant's discrimination claim, because vice president's declaration referred to statements by other employees to explain her reason for not hiring the applicant, not to show their truth. Shields v. Frontier Technology, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2316 (9TH Cir. Feb. 13, 2015).

District court properly granted summary judgment against former employee's disability discrimination claim and other state law claims, because he failed to raise a genuine dispute as to whether he was disabled, his other claims were substantially dependent on analysis of the labor contract and the court had jurisdiction to enforce his purported settlement agreement. McClain v. Int'l Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2314 (9th Cir. Feb. 13, 2015).

District court properly dismissed employee's disparate treatment disability discrimination claim, because employee's inability to seek open positions after a one year eligibility limit upon re-qualification for retirees ended resulted from his decision to pursue re-qualification rather than undergo the ordinary competitive process, not because of his disability. The court property dismissed employee's disparate impact disability discrimination claim, because he did not allege any group based hiring disparity or specific policy or practice that had a disparate impact on disabled retirees. Extension of the eligibility limit was not a reasonable accommodation because it was not a modification or adjustment to the workplace necessary to enable him to perform the essential functions of the position. Williams v. Chino Valley Indep. Fire District, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 2236 (9th Cir. Feb. 9, 2015).

District court properly enforced arbitrator's award holding that employer did not have just cause for discharge rather than lesser discipline, because collective bargaining agreement providing that violation of rules "would constitute just cause for discipline up to and including discharge did not give the employer discretion to impose any discipline it wished, Charter Communications, LLC v. Int'l Bhd. Of Elec. Workers,, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 2246 (9th Cir. Feb. 5, 2015).

District court properly granted summary judgment against former employee's claim that her employer retaliated against her for complaining about sexual harassment, because she offered no evidence showing that the employer's reason for terminating her - sexually harassing two coworkers - was pretextual and the investigation was in accordance with the requirements for good faith. District court properly granted summary judgment against former employee's hostile work environment claim, because employee did not show management knew that the co-worker harassment was sufficiently severe and pervasive; by offering evidence management's knowledge that some sexual profanity and harassment between co-workers existed, management's statement that "sounds like some of the same individuals from previous investigations, another employee's testimony that sexual profanity was common at the company and employee's complaint about harassment two months earlier. Alves v. Emerald Corr. Mgmt, LLC, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2020 (9th Cir. Feb. 9, 2015).

District court properly dismissed complaint for termination in violation of Title VII because the former employee did not file a charge with the EEOC within 300 days after his June 2009 termination and he did not allege sufficient facts to show that he was subject to adverse action due to protected activity or status under Title VII.  District court properly dismissed complaint for intentional infliction of emotional distress because conduct alleged in the complaint was neither extreme nor outrageous. Garcia v. Honeywell Aerospace De Mexico SA DE CV, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1629 (9th Cir. Feb. 2, 2015).

Employee could not claim wrongful discharge in violation of public policy based on his alleged work injury related discharge, because Haw. Rev. Stat Section 378-32 already provided a remedy for that claim. The remedy did not have to be "sufficient"; only available.  The employee could not claim negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress based on his discharge, because workers compensation was the exclusive remedy for that claim. Davis v. Lowe's HIW, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18862 (D. Haw. Feb. 17, 2015).

Employer lawfully withdrew conditional offer of employment, because employee's convictions for felony assault, harassment and assault in the third degree were rationally related to the duties and responsibilities of the receiver/stocker position that had been offered, which had built in stresses of a job requiring interaction with numerous pole while under time pressure. Williamson v. Lowe's HIW, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13170 (D. Haw. Feb. 4, 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.