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Age discrimination in Hawaii: Too young for a higher salary?

by on March 3, 2015

Another first, I don’t think we’ve specifically covered anything age at work in relation to Hawaii before though I guess it’s a state within the USA. I also wonder however if the legal position in Hawaii might be different to other US states. This is an interesting case as I had thought that age discrimination in the States only covered those aged 40 and over but this relates to an engineer in his 30s. It may be that the settlement pre-empted any civil proceedings so might have been covered by a different set of local regulations.

In any event, the Maui News website recently covered this story concerning the settlement agreed in respect of an age discrimination claim bought by an engineer (Dustin Lee Moises) with Kauai’s water department. More details of the claim are provided in this item on the Garden Island website. The engineer alleged age discrimination against the former Department of Personnel Services (DPS) Director Malcolm Fernandez, along with claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, in a claim lodged with the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission in July 2012.

The basis of his claim as reported is that Moises was told he should not get a higher salary because of his age. He was reallocated to the position of principal project manager with a reduction in pay, and then downgraded to a waterworks project manager. Moises said he felt his age was taken into account in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes, with the DPS not giving him sufficient credit for relative work and management experience.

The engineer receives a $125,000 settlement. I guess one of the reasons that the settlement is being reported is that Moises insisted on a non-confidentiality clause. The terms of settlement also include a requirement that the county conducts discrimination training for Heads of Department and supervisors.

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