Hawaii Employment Law Decisions from July 19 to July 25 - Jeffrey S. Harris

A district court properly granted summary judgment requiring an employer to contribute to a trust fund in the month following an employee's termination, transfer to a non-union position or opt-out; assuming that the collective bargaining agreement was ambiguous, based on uncontradicted evidence of industry practice requiring reporting hours that month, coupled with eligibility depending on hours worked in previous month.  Trs. of the Nw. Metal Crafts Tr. Fund v. Sweed Mach., Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12576 (9th Cir. July 21, 2015).

A district court properly granted summary judgment against a former employee's race discrimination claim based on his termination, because the employee did not offer any evidence of similarly situated persons of a different race that the Navy treated more favorably; instead the employee was on probation and the Navy disciplined other non-probationary employees for similar misconduct.  The district court properly granted summary judgment against the former employee's race discrimination claim based on his non-selection for two positions, because the employee did not offer any evidence of the qualifications of individuals selected for one position, and the Navy presented unrebutted evidence that it did not fill the other position,  The district court erroneously granted summary judgment against the employee's disability discrimination claim, because the employee offered his own and others testimony showing that his specific health condition and artificial hip limited his walking ability and evidence that he told his supervisors his legs got tired from walking and he needed a cart to get around.  The district court erroneously granted summary judgment against the employee's retaliation claim, because his requests for accommodation were protected activity within four months of his termination.  Scott v. Mabus, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12530 (9th Cir. July 21, 2015).

A district court properly granted summary judgment that the administrative exemption from overtime covered an insurance company's claims adjusters, based on the undisputed facts regarding the duties they actually did and the employer expected them to do.  Bucklin v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12497 (9th Cir. July 20, 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.