News & Articles

Guard’s lawsuit claims backlash for speaking up

A Maui Community Correctional Center jail guard has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the state Department of Public Safety, alleging retaliation when he made complaints that a jail sergeant used an inmate work crew to do landscaping for his private business. In the lawsuit filed in November in 1st Circuit Court in Honolulu, Hendricks Haupu alleges he was "overworked, reassigned and harassed" after his complaints to his supervisor, Sgt. Carl Duarte, that a crew of workline inmates was assigned to clean state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property along a highway that Duarte's private...

Maui Prison Guard Accused Of Using Inmates For Private Landscaping Company

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees has unanimously decided to transfer 90 days of vacation owed to former administrator Linda Colburn to the state Department of Health, where Colburn begins work this month. But Elizabeth Jubin Fujiwara, Colburn’s attorney, said Colburn wanted a cash payment for the 90 vacation days with any excess transferred to her new post. Fujiwara said she’ll write to the OHA board to seek liquidation of all vacation pay by July 11, or the agency may face another lawsuit. Colburn was fired June 9 and unsuccessfully sought a severance package from the board....

Colburn to contest decision on vacation pay

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees has unanimously decided to transfer 90 days of vacation owed to former administrator Linda Colburn to the state Department of Health, where Colburn begins work this month. But Elizabeth Jubin Fujiwara, Colburn's attorney, said Colburn wanted a cash payment for the 90 vacation days with any excess transferred to her new post. Fujiwara said she'll write to the OHA board to seek liquidation of all vacation pay by July 11, or the agency may face another lawsuit. Colburn was fired June 9 and unsuccessfully sought a severance package from the board....

Queen’s doctor settle lawsuit

Mike Gordon Advertiser Staff Writer The Queen's Medical Center yesterday reached a $150,000 settlement with a former University of Hawai'i medical researcher who had claimed the hospital violated his civil rights. The settlement between the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Hawai'i's largest private hospital does not admit any wrongdoing on the part of the hospital but was done to avoid further court expenses, the commission said. Dr. Shyamal Premaratne, a legal resident of Sri Lanka who was never employed by Queen's, had told the commission that he was being discriminated...

Waianae man claims he was brutalized by Navy Police

KALAELOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Christopher Cordeiro said it was around 2 a.m. on June 29, 2009. He was leaving one of his favorite night fishing spots when a vehicle began aggressively tailgating him on Coral Sea Road in Kalaeloa. "It was terrible. It was like a nightmare. A living nightmare is what it was," he said. Cordeiro said when he reached Roosevelt Road and pulled over, Navy Federal Police officers converged. He said one of them drew his weapon. "He comes to the side of me and orders and demands that I get out of my vehicle," he said. "He was off to my left shoulder. He told me to...

Maui prison employee filed lawsuit against department of public safety

A Maui Community Correctional Center employee claims he was retaliated against for whistleblowing. Now he's suing the department of public safety. According to the lawsuit, hendricks haupu says he complained that a supervisor, a sergeant at the facility, was using inmates for his personal landscaping business. Haupu says he was subsequently re-assigned and physically and emotionally abused. In this instance its not sanctioned by the state or the federal government," said Joseph Rosenbaum, Haupu's attorney. "It's being used by a private man's business and in the instance we believe the...

Sexual harassment is not just a Mainland problem, it also affects Hawaii workplaces. Here’s what employers can do to prevent it.

If you think it doesn’t happen here, you’re wrong. The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission look into more than 60 sexual harassment complaints each year in the Islands. And experts believe most cases are never reported or never reach those government agencies. “Nobody thinks it’s OK, but somehow people are doing it,” says Robin Wurtzel, chief counsel for the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission. Sexual harassment at work hurts employee morale and productivity, and in some cases derails careers. And so often when it happens, victims don’t speak up....

Sexual harassment: Is there a problem in Hawaii?

Harvey Weinstein. Bill O’Reilly. Chef John Besh. Leon Wieseltier. Knight Landesman. All famous men from the mainland who have settled harassment charges, and/or have been forced out of their positions due to serious allegations of sexual harassment on the job — finally. To be clear: Sexual harassment is not about romance; it’s about power. Sexual harassment is not about love; it’s about oppression. Sexual harassment is not about joy; it’s about fear. Fear to come to work, because the verbal harassment will escalate to physical harassment and maybe even rape at the workplace. This is the fear...

Students’ activism well worth pride

Who knew that it would take high school students to wake up this nation (“Across the nation, masses call for an end to gun violence,” Star-Advertiser, March 15)? I am so very proud. My 14-year-old granddaughter, who attends SOTA, the San Francisco performing arts school, participated in the walkout. Even though she is an “A” student, she didn’t care that she would be marked with an unexcused absence. The walkout was very organized. The SOTA students first did a mass calling to Congress. My granddaughter was able to speak and argue with U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, trying her best to...