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Settlement of Substitute Teachers’ Back Pay Lawsuit Pending

Posted October 7, 2013, 04:07 PM HST
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Payment of back pay to substitute teachers in Hawaii under a settlement agreement is expected to occur in March 2014, the state attorney general’s office said today in a press release.

The Circuit Court last month tentatively approved a settlement in the class-action lawsuit Garner et al v. Department of Education.  The settlement will be submitted to the court for its formal approval on Nov. 15.

If the court approves the settlement, the earliest the agreement could become final would be Dec. 16.

After that, the state would start calculating back pay for the approximately 9,000 substitute teachers. The AG’s office described that as a “massive undertaking that will take a reasonable amount of time to implement and accomplish,” which means the earliest the state is expecting to issue checks is March 5, 2014.

The state has agreed to pay $15 million to substitute teachers for back daily wages, according to a website maintained by Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, the law firm which filed the lawsuit more than 10 years ago that accused the state of not paying substitutes the wages they were due.

The state has appealed a judge’s ruling that it owes teachers another $7 million for unpaid hourly wages and $13 million in interest.

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