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Comment on Yesterday's Filing in Big Hawaii Case

Date: July 03, 2014

News Release From NFIB/Hawaii

HONOLULU, Hawaii, July 3, 2014—Melissa Pavlicek, Hawaii state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s Voice of Small Business, released the following statement today on yesterday’s NFIB amicus brief filing in the BCI Coca-Cola v. Josue case. 

The First Circuit Court of Hawaii will have to decide whether employers in the state have a legal obligation to preserve an employee’s original position indefinitely when the employee has taken an extended leave of absence without affirming intent—and his or her capacity—to return to work after a workplace injury. 

“Small businesses have fewer resources to accommodate those who may request leave. Accordingly, small businesses are placed in a difficult position when an employee takes an indefinite leave of absence. Additional expenses during leave, such as paid time off for the absent employee, overtime pay for current employees covering for the absent employee, and costs to hire temporary employees, can be especially burdensome for small businesses, like the typical NFIB member who employs fewer than 10 employees.  

“It’s unreasonable to expect an employer to preserve a vacant position indefinitely without an assurance that the employee is capable of resuming his or her duties in the relatively near future. If Josue’s rule is adopted, employers will face liability for executing decisions necessary to preserve their business. We urge the Court to protect small business.” 

The amicus brief was filed by the NFIB Small Business Legal Center. 

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The NFIB Small Business Legal Center  is a 501(c)(3) organization created to protect the rights of America's small business owners by providing advisory material on legal issues and by ensuring that the voice of small business is heard in the nation's courts. The National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America's economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

National Federation of Independent Business/Hawaii
841 Bishop St., Suite 2100
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: 808-447-1840
Fax: 808-523-3712

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It’s unreasonable to expect an employer to preserve a vacant position indefinitely without an assurance that the employee is capable of resuming his or her duties in the relatively near future.

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