Hawaiian Electric hired me as a contract IT professional in August 2018. My team loved me and the company offered me a permanent position February 2019. We have a perfect fit. On February 20th, IT Security called to congratulate me on being officially accepted. Our family and friends celebrated our hard work and good fortune.
Yet on Monday, February 25th, around 11:00am on my first new day, HR director Shana Buco fired me. Claimed I failed their corporate drug screen due to my legal medical cannabis prescription. She knew a week earlier, but said nothing to me nor alerted me to a potential issue.
Although she considered me to be engaged in illegal activity and presented a danger to my coworkers, company and general public, Shana allowed me to continue working and falsely believe I had been hired. Had been with the company over six months. Shana provided no “drug free workplace” policy. Didn’t drug test me or 1,000s of contractors. Did nothing at all to suggest they were concerned about cannabis or any illicit substances. Our work was excellent. We were a winning team.
Rather than contact me Sunday evening to share the bad news, this sadistic human being allowed me come to my place of employment so she could terminate me in front of my manager, co-workers and close friends. She didn’t simply fire me; she embarrassed and humiliated me.
I’m still devastated. Our family remains upside down. Does anyone consider this aloha? We consider this the cruelest act we’ve suffered in our lives.
Hawaiian Electric CEO & President Constance Hee Lau has enjoyed a remarkable life. She was a privileged local girl who excelled at prestigious Punahou school — same school attended by President Barack Obama. She graduated 1970.
Women suffered Institutional Discrimination during that period. Yale University offered her an opportunity to be a pioneer. She was a member of the second class of female undergraduates at this top national university. University President Kingman Brewster, Jr. took a chance and opened doors of possibility for her. He allowed her to pursue her fondest dreams.
Fifty years later, CEO Connie had the chance to “Pay It Forward.” I’m a pioneer of an alternative medication, which has been a pillar of America’s Institutional Racism since 1970. The State of Hawai’i legalized the medication in 2000. There are over 30,000+ suffering patients in the islands; none can work at Hawaiian Electric.
Rather than respect the evidence-based research, Connie Lau slammed the door in my face. She claims her company pursues ‘imi pono — to strive to be righteous. Do you believe they do?
Due to the policies of CEO Connie, the company ended my dreams and robbed me of an opportunity I had earned over a lifetime career. It appears HR director Buco now blackballs/blacklists me.
My situation reeks of discriminatory behavior. Yet our family’s complaint languishes before the Hawai’i Civil Rights Commission and is blocked by Investigator Supervisor Stephen Chang. Chang also attended Yale. One of the four commissioners assigned to the Commission is a Hawaiian Electric attorney, Liann Ebesugawa, Commissioner, (term 2017-2020). There’s an oligopolistic group who controls the state. They assist their own friends and families, while oppressing those with less power and resources.
Ms. Ebesugawa is Assistant General Counsel for Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. Previously she served as an Associate General Counsel for Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. where she provided legal support to personnel and management and advice in obtaining regulatory approvals for various projects.
Officials at the Commission seem now to protect their friend and colleague. If my case didn’t have merit, they would have dismissed the matter in weeks. It’s been over a year. Due to the C19 pause, many government agencies were closed. The Commission re-opened June 10th. They blackball/blacklist me, as apparently I have a winning hand.
The Hawai‘i Civil Rights Commission (HCRC) office has reopened to provide restored services, with the capacity to provide assistance and information, assess and prioritize inquiries, conduct intakes, accept complaint filings and effect service of complaints, and conduct investigations, while maintaining social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. These services will be provided via telephone, fax and e-mail. No in-person public contact will occur.
Contacted Mr. Chang again yesterday. We had spoken some time ago. The Commission was in disarray. Six weeks later, I requested an update. His deceptive response:
Your case is currently not assigned to any Investigator due to a shortage of Investigators. When an investigator is assigned, you will be notified.
Stephen K.L. Chang
Hawai`i Civil Rights Commission
830 Punchbowl St., Room 411
Honolulu, HI 96813
ATTN: Stephen K.L. Chang
Hawai’i Civil Rights Commission
Cc: Joseph A Ernst, attorney for Hawaiian Electric
RE: Employee v. Employer Hawaiian Electric
Grievance of employment discrimination filed April 2019; complaint signed August 2019 (download here)
Aloha Mr. Chang,
Can you please explain why you are cheating our family? Our case initiated April 2019. You have passed the complaint to TWO investigators. Last one, Mr. Duffy Jamieson, left the island without completing the task you assigned him. The Commission has investigators now. You can assign the case; you choose instead to block progress on our matter. This is childish in a time of tremendous distress around the world. You are abusing your position and authority to punish us.
If HEI/HECO could prevail, you would dismiss the case. As the Commission apparently is unable to get rid of me, you bury us and delay. This is corruption and cheating. You force me to take this public. I now copy our political leaders and media.
Our nation burns because of corruption in the Criminal Justice system and lack of civil rights in society. Your action furthers this grave injustice. ENOUGH is ENOUGH !!! Please GET your knee off of my neck !!!
As athletes took the pitch yesterday, many wore shirts saying, “Silence is Violence.” You work to silence my grievance and the rights of some 30,000+ suffering human beings in Hawai’i. I was fired Feb 25th. Do you still believe you can silence us? Promise you I will never quit. We refuse to continue being treated as Second Class citizens.
History will not be kind to people who engage in such disgraceful and un-American activity. I offered you and the Commission respect. In return, your team has continually worked to delay and cheat our family.
Extremely disappointed in your character and lack of professional ethics. See attached HCRC Complaint
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
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