Hawaii Employment Law Decisions from November 29, 2015 to December 5, 2015 – Jeffrey S. Harris

District court improperly granted summary judgment dismissing union's petition to compel arbitration, because statute of limitations did not begin to run until employer made it clear it refused to arbitrate, even though the employer has earlier stated the matter was neither grievable nor arbitrable.  SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West v. Los Robles Regional Medical Center, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 20983 (9th Cir. Dec. 3, 2015).

District court property granted summary judgment against employee's age discrimination claim.  His evidence that employer retained younger salespersons did not establish pretext, because the sales manager most similarly situated to him was fired despite being much younger.  Although employer's explanations evolved over time they were not incompatible and employee was responsible for poor customer service because he was de factor manager.  He failed to show ageist remarks by coworkers were made, overheard or endorsed by supervisor who terminated him.  Eagle v. Bill Alexander Automotive Center, Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 20752 (9th Cir. Nov. 30, 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 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.