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Honolulu Hawaii Employment Law Blog

What is an adverse employment action?

As an employee in Hawaii, you likely know that if you report workplace discrimination to your supervisor, your company’s management team or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, your employer cannot fire you or retaliate against you in any other way. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act strictly forbids such adverse employment actions

What you may not realize, however, is that adverse employment actions can take an almost infinite variety of forms. Some, such as wrongful termination, are fairly self-evident. Other types of retaliatory discrimination are less blatant, but can include the following:

  • Reducing or threatening to reduce your salary or wages
  • Reassigning your work duties to other employees
  • Relieving you of your supervisory responsibilities
  • Excessively examining your work
  • Threatening to report you or one of your family members to immigration authorities
  • Publicly criticizing you, especially in the media

3 ways older doctors can fight age discrimination

As a doctor, you provide life-saving care to your patients. When you have been in the medical field for decades, you should be rewarded and appreciated. Unfortunately, the opposite may occur. As an older physician, you may find yourself being the victim of age discrimination. 

Age discrimination in the workplace is illegal, and it is possible to overcome. Recently, a 77-year-old Cleveland doctor won an age discrimination lawsuit after he was forced to retire after working in the hospital for almost 20 years. If you suspect your employer is being discriminatory toward you because of your age, here is what you should do.

When can you file a claim for employment retaliation in Hawaii?

In general, there exist few grounds for you to challenge employer actions such as demotions or terminations. At-will employment means the law does not usually forbid employers from acting harshly or unfairly.

However, Hawaii law does carve out exceptions making certain types of employer conduct illegal. One of them is retaliating against certain types of actions by employees.

3 things employers should learn from Adams v. CDM Media

Searching for a job is one of the most stressful processes to go through. As you write cover letters, update your resume and embark on interviews, it can easily become an arduous pursuit. The resultant anxiety would only worsen if you suspect that prospective employers were discriminating against you based on your age. This is exactly what happened in the case of Adams v. CDM Media.

The case consisted a 59-year-old woman’s allegation that the company denied her employment on the basis of her age. The dispute eventually made its way to the Hawaii Supreme Court, and there are a few things that employers — and employees — can learn from the events of the case.

Harassment is a leading worker complaint

There have been a few common themes in the 2017 news cycle. In recent weeks, stories about sexual harassment in Hollywood have sparked larger conversations about harassment in the workplace. It may be in the news right now, but it’s been a significant problem for a long time.

What is wrongful termination in Hawaii?

Losing a job is difficult under any circumstances. When it’s unexpected, the employee may feel as if the act was wrongful termination. Like most US states, Hawaii is an “at will employment” state. Broadly speaking, at will means that an employee can be terminated at any time for any reason.

While that sounds foreboding, at will is not that open and shut. Workers have protection against wrongful termination, especially in cases of discrimination or retaliation for whistleblowers (sexual harassment, OSHA violations, FMLA, etc.).

What to do after merger layoffs

Experiencing a job layoff is a traumatic and uncertain time in the lives of many workers. Layoffs can raise questions as to how families will support themselves and how long a household earner could be out of work. Although a layoff can be a trying time, there are steps workers can take to ensure that the cuts are conducted legally and potentially increase their chances of future employment and household stability.

A round of layoffs could be coming to Hawaii soon as Cincinnati Bell Inc. announced its plan to buy Honolulu-based Hawaiian Telecom Inc. and Toronto-based OnX Enterprise Solutions. It is unclear how many workers will be affected by the merger, but two Hawaiian Telecom executives will remain on the board to "ensure that Hawaiian interests are taken into account," according to Zacks, an investment research firm.

Video: Focusing on the future if you are fired

Losing your job for any reason can be devastating for employees across Hawaii and their families. It can be easy to focus on what went wrong, or what mistakes you or your employer made. However, rather than concentrate on the past, it can be far more valuable to assess your options for the future.

VIDEO: The Law Offices of David F. Simons represents whistleblowers

No one wants to put their job in danger, even if an employer engages in unsafe or illegal workplace activities. This explains the rationale of various whistleblower protection laws, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. These laws make it illegal to fire an employee who comes forward and blows the whistle.

Video: Age discrimination is real | The Law Offices of David F. Simons

Despite protections against age discrimination offered by federal and state employment laws, the job security of many skilled workers in their 50s and 60s is still threatened in many workplaces across the country.


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