Categorized | Business

U.S. Court of Appeals rules in favor of terminated Hawaii Tribune-Herald employees

Hawaii 24/7 Staff

A federal Court of Appeals has upheld a National Labor Relations Board’s decision that two reporters fired from the Hawaii Tribune-Herald should be reinstated and are eligible for back pay.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday denied the Stephens Media newspaper’s appeal of a NLRB decision that Dave Smith and Hunter Bishop were illegally fired.

Bishop, who now is deputy director of the county Department of Environmental Management, was terminated after a 2005 confrontation with editor David Bock over a union matter during which Bishop was accused of insubordination.

Smith, who now is a freelance writer and contributor at Big Island Now, was fired in 2006 for recording a meeting with Bock, without the editor’s knowledge.

Smith has indicated he will consider the option of returning to the paper. Bishop said he has not yet reviewed the decision.

Statement from Dave Smith on U.S. Court of Appeals ruling:

It is difficult to describe how I felt this morning when I heard the news of the favorable court ruling.

The past six years since I was illegally terminated – the only time I have ever been fired from a job in my life – have been difficult, both from a financial standpoint and from the uncertainty of having my journalism career unjustly jerked out from under me.

However, I never doubted that justice would eventually be served. Hopefully the Hawaii Tribune-Herald now realizes that it cannot ride roughshod over its employees.

Both Hunter (Bishop) and I are grateful to the National Labor Relations Board and the Newspaper Guild for their efforts to protect the rights of workers. We also want to thank our many supporters through this long and arduous process.

U.S. Court of Appeals Rulling No. 11-1054

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