Subs, Part-Time Teacher Not Entitled to $56M in Back Wages
The Hawai‘i Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday, June 28, that certain substitute teachers and part-time teachers who had worked for the state at relevant times between 2000 and 2012 are not entitled to back wages or interest for alleged underpayments by the state.
The total amount of back wages and interest on back wages allegedly owed by the state to more than 28,000 substitute and part-time teachers in two class action suits had totaled more than $56 million.
Yesterday’s decision closes more than a decade of litigation and ends the claims raised by the class action plaintiffs.
The state previously paid more than $14 million in back wages to substitute teachers. The state believed, however, that it had paid part-time teachers everything they were owed. The state also denied that it owed interest on the back wages already paid.
“The state and DOE appreciate the part-time teachers important contribution to the education of our youth,” said Attorney General Doug Chin. “They can and should be paid for that contribution. But the state also has a duty to all citizens to ensure that part-time teachers are not paid more than they are owed. The Supreme Court of Hawai‘i applied the appropriate laws under the circumstances and determined that the state properly paid part-time teachers the full amount they were owed. The court also affirmed that no interest is owed.”
The State of Hawai‘i was represented at all stages of this litigation, including the appeal, by state attorneys from within the Hawai‘i Department of the Attorney General. The class action plaintiffs were represented by the local law firm Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing.
A copy of today’s 49-page decision from the Hawaii Supreme Court can be downloaded here.