Saturday, February 24, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, January 10, 2014
Hauula Teacher Wins Back Pay After Pot-Fueled Firing
By Selected News Articles @ 12:07 PM :: 5034 Views :: Education K-12, Labor

Teacher Owed Back Pay After Pot-Fueled Firing

by Jeff D. Gorman, Courthouse News, January 10, 2014

(CN) - A teacher who was fired and then reinstated amid accusations that she drank wine and smoked marijuana is entitled to back pay with interest, a Hawaiian appeals court ruled.

Kathleen Morita was teaching at Hauula Elementary School in September 2007 when a custodian reported the smell of marijuana coming from her classroom. He also reported what he thought was a bottle of wine in a paper bag.

After an investigation, the state of Hawaii's Department of Education fired Morita in July 2008.

Her case went to an arbitrator, per the state's agreement with its collective bargaining agreement with Morita's union, the Hawaii State Teacher's Association.

The arbitrator sustained Morita's grievance, determining that the state lacked just cause to fire her. She was restored to her position with interest and back pay.

A circuit court confirmed the arbitrator's award in Morita's favor but deleted the 10 percent interest on her back pay. The union appealed.

In a decision written by Judge Katherine Leonard, the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals reversed the lower court's ruling and restored the interest on Morita's back pay.

"We reject the state's argument that the arbitrator exceeded his powers," Leonard wrote. "The arbitrator was expressly authorized to award 'back pay to compensate the teacher wholly ... for any salary lost.' He interpreted this provision to allow interest for the time Morita was without pay."

"Even if he incorrectly construed the agreement or misinterpreted applicable law, he acted within his power to interpret the agreement and fashion a remedy in accordance with his interpretation," Leonard added.

---30---

LINK: PDF of Court Ruling

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT