Hawaii Employment Law Decisions from June 7 to June 13 - Jeffrey S. Harris

A district court properly granted summary judgment against a postdoctoral fellow's discrimination claim, because the fellow did not provide sufficient evidence showing that the reasons for not considering her for a full time position (lack of compliance with safety guidelines and dissatisfaction with her ability to publicly present her work) were pretextual. The district court properly granted summary judgment against the fellow's harassment claim, because she did not cite any evidence showing that her employer knew about several inappropriate comments made by a co-worker. Choi v. Mabus, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9784 (9th Cir. June 11, 2015).

A district court erroneously enjoined an air carrier to comply with work rules previously agreed to by a pilots' advocacy group during negotiation of a new contract following the National Mediation Board's certification of a union as the pilots' bargaining representative. Since the advocacy group had not demanded recognition from the carrier or sought Board certification, the work rules were not a collective bargaining agreement under the Railway Labor Act. The Act did not require the carrier to maintain the status quo during negotiation of the initial agreement. Int'l Bhd. Of Teamsters, Airline Div. v. Allegiant Air, LLC, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9506 (9th Cir. June 8, 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.