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Hawaii Employment Law Cases November 26, 2017 to December 2, 2017

U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

When no ERISA fees for arbitration.  ERISA fee award provisions do not cover success on the merits in arbitration unless the court first orders parties to arbitrate.  De Leon v. Int’l Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen’s Union, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23918 (9th Cir. Nov. 27, 2017).

U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii

No unequivocal condition of union compliance.  Collective bargaining agreement did not unequivocally make a union’s compliance with favored nations claim a condition of the company’s promise to contribute to the annuity fund.  The trustees of the fund were entitled to re-audit the employer.  The fund was not required to litigate termination disputes between a union and employer, where the National Labor Relations Board had concurrent jurisdiction over whether the contribution obligation ended when the company withdrew recognition.  Haw. Annuity Trust Fund for Operating Eng’rs v. Kauai Veterans Express Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197964 (D. Haw. Dec. 1, 2017).

First try by pro se plaintiff fails.  Title VII, the ADA and the ADEA do not provide individual liability.   Pro se plaintiff failed to state a claim for discrimination or retaliation under Title VII, the ADA or the ADEA.  Punitive damages are not available against government defendants.  Creamer v. Cty. Of Kauai, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196964 (D. Haw. Nov. 30, 2017).

Note: We analyze cases to learn rules courts will follow or disappoint us if they do not. Rules courts follow allow us to behave and provide explanations they accept. Competent advocates may limit the rules to the facts of the case that discuss them, or expand the rules by showing differences in other cases are irrelevant.