News & Announcements
Hawaii Judge issues Permanent Injunction against Enforcement of Sick Leave Discrimination Law for Unionized Employers
On May 1, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Oki Mollway permanently enjoined the State from enforcing the sick leave discrimination law passed in 2011.
The law prohibits certain unionized employers from terminating, withholding pay from, or demoting an employee for using accrued and available sick. Judge Mollway had previously ruled on December 31, 2012 that it was preempted by federal law and violated the Equal Protection Clause by impermissibly targeting employers with collective bargaining agreements, but deferred a determination on the appropriate remedy. In the May 1 ruling, Judge Mollway concluded that the proper remedy is to prohibit enforcement of the law in its entirety, as opposed to only invalidating the portion of the law that limits its applicability to unionized employers, as the State had suggested. The court reasoned that applying the State's proposed remedy by rewriting the statute "would expand the statutory scope without any evidence of a legislative intent to adopt such a far-reaching provision". Read more.