Hawaii Employment Law Decisions from July 26, 2015 to August 1, 2015- Jeffrey S. Harris

District Court properly entered judgment against employee, because he failed to prove that the employer did not provide him reasonable accommodation for his disability.  Katz v. Lew, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13388 (9th Cir. July 21, 2015).

District Court properly granted summary judgment against employee's discrimination claims, because he failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons offered for the employer's failure to convert him to a full time position were pretextual, and he failed to raise a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the employer treated similarly situated employees outside of the employee's protected class more favorably. District court properly granted summary judgment against employee's retaliation claims because he failed to raise a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether adverse actions were taken because of his protected conduct or whether the relevant decision makers were aware of his protected activity.  Billberry v. Brennan, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13401 (9th Cir. July 31, 2015).

District Court properly granted summary judgment against a discharged employee, because he could not show that he was qualified at the time of his discharge. An essential function of his and every job is the ability to appropriately handle stress and interact with others. The employee was not qualified when that stress lead him to threaten to kill his co-workers in chilling detail and on multiple occasions (at least five times), regardless of whether his threats stemmed from his major depressive disorder.  Mayo v. PCC Structurals, Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13065 (9th Cir. July 28, 2015).

District Court denied summary judgment against employee's disability discrimination claim, because the employee created an issue of material fact as to whether the employer's reason for terminating him was a pretext for discrimination.  Employee said that he received permission from a manager to take home a mattress with a cut in it, explained that he was even helped out of the store with the mattress by another manager and showed that nondisabled employees took pieces of mattresses home.  Employer did not offer evidence sufficient to draw a distinction between the employee taking the mattress with a cut in it and other employees who took portions of mattresses home. Marlang v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98122 (D. Haw. July 28, 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.