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Hawaii Employment Law Decisions Jan. 8, 2017 to Jan. 14, 2017 – Jeffrey S. Harris

District court properly granted summary judgment against Title VII discrimination and retaliation claims.  Former employee did not show she was performing according to employer's legitimate expectations.  She did not show employer's desire to retaliate was the "but-for" cause of her dismissal.  District court properly granted summary judgment against Title VII hostile work environment claim. Former employee did not offer evidence of abusive working environment.  Minnis v. State of Wash., Dep't of Soc. and Health Servs., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 689 (9th Cir. Jan. 13, 2017).

District court properly granted summary judgment against ADEA age discrimination claim.  41-year old employee offered no evidence his replacement was younger than him.  Leon v. Saldana, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 520 (9th Cir. Jan. 11, 2017).

District court properly granted summary judgment against Title VII retaliation claim. Employee did not show retaliation caused his failure to obtain promotions.  Decision maker's statements did not suggest retaliatory intent.  Another employee promoted also engaged in protected activity.  Substantial time passed between the employee's protected activity and decisions not to promote him.  Employee did not show employer's reasons were pretext for retaliation.  He had relatively less preferred experience, interviewed badly and did not claim all interviewers had retaliatory intent.  Lombardi v. Castro, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 519 (9th Cir. Jan. 11, 2017).

District court properly granted summary judgment against age discrimination claim.  Employee did not show his reclassification was pretextual.  His layoff was part of a company-wide reduction in force that would have reached his previous job classification.  Employer conducted it in an age-neutral manner.  He was not replaced once terminated as his position was eliminated.  Jefferson v. The Boeing Co., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 454 (9th Cir. Jan. 10, 2017)

District court properly granted summary judgment against discrimination based on 'regarded as' disability (which does not require accommodation).  Rejected applicant did not show she could perform the essential functions of lifting over fifty pounds and above shoulder level without accommodation.  District court granted summary judgment against claim medical exam occurred before the conditional job offer.  Applicant showed no concrete injury from the timing of the medical exam she voluntarily scheduled before completing all pre-employment evaluations and the employer made clear her lifting restrictions caused rescission of the offer.  Taylor v. Renown Health, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 455 (9th Cir. Jan. 10, 2017).

Automobile dealership service advisors did not fall within the exemption from FLSA's overtime-compensation for "any salesman, parts man, or mechanic primarily engaged in . . . servicing automobiles.".  Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 344 (9th Cir. Jan. 9, 2017).

District court dismissed ADA claim for termination because of disability.  Employee did not plead company employed enough employees for coverage, or facts sufficient to show he was plausibly disabled.  Kirsch v. Lei Floor and Window Coverings, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3034 (D. Haw. Jan. 9, 2017).

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.