Hawaii Employment Law Decisions from May 17 to May 23 - Jeffrey S. Harris

A fiduciary has a continuing duty of prudence to monitor and remove imprudent investments from the plan, not only the duty to select them prudently from the outset. Tibble v. Edison Int'l, 135 S. Ct. 1823 (May 18, 2015).

A bankruptcy debtor who converts from Chapter 13 bankruptcy to Chapter 7 is entitled to return of any post petition wages not yet distributed by the Chapter 13 trustee. Harris v. Viegelahn, 135 S. Ct. 1829 (May 18, 2015).

A district court erroneously granted an employer's motion to vacate arbitration award, because the arbitrator reasonably interpreted the collective bargaining agreement authorizing him to "interpret, apply or determine compliance" as giving him the authority to impose a remedy for wrongful discharge. United Nurses of Children's Hosp. v. Rady Children's Hosp. San Diego, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8228 (9th Cir. May 19, 2015).

A district court properly granted a union summary judgment enforcing an arbitration award requiring an employer to comply with a collective bargaining agreement providing that it must preserve all stevedoring work for the bargaining unit, because the bargaining unit employees traditionally performed the work for employers who were members of the multi-employer bargaining association covered by the agreement and the employer had the right to control assignment of work. Am. President Line v. Int'l Longshore and Warehouse Union, Alaska Longshore Div., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8229 (9th Cir. May 19, 2015).

A district court properly dismissed a high school teacher's Title VII discrimination claim on behalf of students allegedly mistreated, because the discrimination was not against the teacher. The district court properly dismissed the teacher's hostile work environment claim, because several incidents of racial hostility by students and one by a fellow worker to a student's grandmother outside the teacher's presence were not sufficient to establish a hostile environment. Pierce v. Santa Maria Joint Union High Sch .Dist., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8125 (9th Cir. May 18, 2015).

A former employer was entitled to enforce an arbitration agreement against a former employee, because the agreement covered employment disputes and the employer and it provided the employee an option to opt out of arbitration which she did not exercise. Hopkins v. Macy's West Stores, Inc., 2015 Haw. App. Lexis 239 (May 21, 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.