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United States District Court for the District of Hawaii
February 2, 2022, Decided; February 2, 2022, Filed
CIVIL NO. 22-00007 JAO-KJM
ORDER (1) DENYING PLAINTIFFS' APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND FOR ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION SHOULD NOT ISSUE AND (2) GRANTING DEFENDANTS' APPLICATION TO STRIKE DECLARATION OF FREDERICK [*2] REED BATES, II
This putative class action concerns Defendant Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.'s1 denial of religious and/or medical exemptions from its COVID-19 vaccine policy, which requires employees to get vaccinated or face termination. Plaintiffs Riki O'Hailpin ("O'Hailpin"), Nina Arizumi ("Arizumi"), Robert Espinosa ("Espinosa"), Erwin Young ("Young"), Puanani Badiang ("Badiang"), Sabrina Franks ("Franks"), and Ronald Lum ("Lum") (collectively, "Plaintiffs") allege that Hawaiian's denial of their requests for medical and/or religious exemptions was discriminatory and retaliatory, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") and Title VII. Plaintiffs request a temporary restraining order ("TRO") and an order to show cause why a preliminary injunction should not issue. ECF No. 17. Hawaiian moves to strike the Declaration of Frederick Reed Bates, II, which is attached to Plaintiffs' Reply. ECF No. 36.
For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs' Application for Temporary Restraining Order and for an Order to Show Cause Why Preliminary Injunction Should Not Issue, and GRANTS Hawaiian's Application to Strike the Declaration of Frederick Reed Bates, II, Attached to Plaintiffs' Reply Brief in Support of Application [*3] for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.
I. Factual History
A. Hawaiian's Policies
On August 9, 2021, Hawaiian informed its employees that effective November 1, 2021, it would require all U.S.-based employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, i.e., employees had to have received the full dosage of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Janssen vaccine unless they had a reasonable accommodation for a disability under the ADA or a sincerely held religious belief that conflicted with receiving the vaccine. ECF No. 31-1 ¶ 5. Hawaiian published its vaccine policy on September 17, 2021. ECF No. 1 ¶ 27. Hawaiian then implemented a Transition Period Testing Program ("TPTP"), which enabled employees who remained unvaccinated as of November 1, 2021 to continue working through January 4, 2022, subject to temporary COVID-19 testing procedures. ECF No. 31-1 ¶¶ 7-8. The TPTP was designed in part to give unvaccinated employees time to decide whether to be vaccinated. Id. ¶ 8. It also offered a 12-month unpaid leave of absence ("LOA"), beginning January 5, 2022, for employees who declined to get vaccinated. Id. Employees had to apply for participation in the TPTP by October 24, 2021. [*4] Id.
Hawaiian permitted employees to request reasonable accommodations ("RA request") based on disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs by October 1, 2021, though requests were accepted beyond that. Id. ¶¶ 6-7. Due to the high volume of religious accommodation requests — 500 total — Hawaiian was unable to process all RA requests by the November 1, 2021 vaccination deadline. Id. ¶ 9. To avoid terminating the employees who did not receive a response regarding their RA request by November 1, 2021, however, Hawaiian auto-enrolled them in TPTP as a temporary accommodation. Id. For those employees whose RA requests were denied, Hawaiian reopened the option to request an LOA on November 19, 2021. Id. ¶ 16.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18640 *; 2022 WL 314155
RIKI O'HAILPIN, NINA ARIZUMI, ROBERT ESPINOSA, ERWIN YOUNG, PUANANI BADIANG, SABRINA FRANKS, and RONALD LUM, on their own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, vs. HAWAIIAN AIRLINES, INC. AND HAWAIIAN HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants.
Subsequent History: Stay denied by, Dismissed by, Without prejudice O'Hailpin v. Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48983, 2022 WL 827069 (D. Haw., Mar. 18, 2022)
Later proceeding at Riki O'h v. Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 12579 (9th Cir. Haw., May 10, 2022)
vaccine, employees, irreparable harm, accommodation, Plaintiffs', preliminary injunction, injunctive relief, public interest, unvaccinated, Declaration, religious belief, requests, undue hardship, merits, adverse employment action, psychological, retaliation, injunction, exemption, temporary restraining order, termination, religious, harms, likelihood of success, prima facie case, disability, exhaust, irreparable injury, circumstances, retaliatory