Hawaii Employment Law Decisions from September 13, 2015 to September 19, 2015 - Jeffrey S. Harris

The National Labor Relations Act preempted the Idaho Fairness in Contracting Act, which banned "job targeting" or "market recovery" programs under which construction unions collect funds from workers they represent and use those funds to subsidize bids by union contractors, even though those funds are derived in part from wages paid the workers under the Davis Bacon Act.  Idaho Bldg. and Trades Council v. Wasden, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16458 (9th Cir. Sept. 16, 2015).

District Court did not err by allowing the school district employer to refer to former teacher's "dishonesty" in its opening statement and closing argument to the jury, because the Employer's defense at trial was that it did not need to provide the teacher with the accommodation she requested because she interned with another school district while on unpaid leave in 2007-08, which demonstrated that her injuries were not as serious as she suggested and justified terminating her contract for 2008-09.  Raines v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16586 (9th Cir. Sept. 17, 2015).

District Court denied motion for reconsideration of its order denying employer's motion for summary judgment against employee's Fair Labor Standards Act claim, because there were material issues of fact as to whether the employer knew or had reason to know that employee was working extra on blogs and she had complained that she should be paid for work related to matters such as travel, waiting at the post office and computer/technical delays.  Tagupa v. VIPdesk, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124305 (D. Haw. Sept. 17, 2015).

District Court granted individual defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings because employee could not make a claim under the Hawaii Whistleblower Protection Act against individuals.  District Court granted the employee leave to amend his intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against the individuals to allege that they acted willfully and wantonly.  Ragasa v. County of Kauai, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123030 (D. Haw. Sept. 15, 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.