Hawaii Employment Law Decisions from May 3 to May 9 - Jeffrey S. Harris

A district court properly granted an employer summary judgment against a discrimination claim by a former employee who it laid off and did not rehire, because he was not qualified for the position he sought, the employer was in financial trouble, his lead position was not necessary when the program he was assigned to only had one employee, eliminating his position would result in the greatest savings because he was the highest paid employee and the employee did not show that the employer's financial justification was pretext. The district court properly granted summary judgment against a retaliation claim by the employee, because the was no evidence the employer knew of the employee's complaint to the government before deciding not to rehire him, and even if it did, he did not rebut the employer's legitimate, non discriminatory reason for not rehiring him. Lusk v. Senior Services, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7899 (9th Cir. May 7, 2015).

A district court erroneously denied an employer's motion for a preliminary injunction enforcing a former employee's covenant not to compete under Oregon law. The covenant likely did not suffer from geographical over breadth, because evidence showed that the employee worked in the territory that it reached. The covenant likely did not fail to protect a legitimate interest, because the employee had information about the former employer's marketing plans and product allocation. The covenant was likely enforceable because the employee agreed to it when the employer promoted him. Ocean Beauty Seafoods, LLC v. Pacific Seafood Grp. Acquisition Co., Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7646 (9th Cir. May 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.