Home » US Supreme Court finds federal labor law does not automatically preempt state law claims

US Supreme Court finds federal labor law does not automatically preempt state law claims

by Derek Andrews
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The US Supreme Courtroom held Thursday {that a} native union should litigate a property harm dispute in state courtroom, versus showing earlier than the Nationwide Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In Glacier Northwest v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the courtroom discovered that federal labor regulation, beneath the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), didn’t preempt an organization’s state declare that hanging truck drivers deliberately broken firm property.

The courtroom held that the NLRA’s safety of the fitting to strike just isn’t absolute. Somewhat, hanging staff could also be topic to state regulation claims the place they fail to take “affordable precautions” to “shield their employer’s property from foreseeable, aggravated, and imminent hazard as a result of sudden cessation of labor.” Somewhat than robotically granting NLRA preemption to any case involving strike motion, the courtroom as an alternative held that the hanging social gathering should current sufficient proof to indicate that there’s an debatable case for preemption, citing 1959 precedent from San Diego Building Trades v. Garmon. Whereas the courtroom agreed that the NLRA should still shield the hanging staff’ choice to provoke the strike through the workday with out particular discover to their employer, such actions must be weighed by the courtroom in its preemption concerns.

At concern within the case was Glacier Northwest’s declare that giant quantities of concrete perished as a result of their truck drivers—as unionized members of the Teamsters—went on strike. The courtroom discovered that the hanging truck drivers ought to have identified how extremely perishable the concrete was and brought affordable steps to guard Glacier Northwest from hurt. As a result of they failed to take action, the courtroom discovered that it was correct for Glacier Northwest to carry a tort declare towards the hanging truck drivers in state courtroom, slightly than bringing the problem earlier than the NLRB.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote the bulk opinion, which Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Brett Kavanaugh joined. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito each filed concurring opinions, which Justice Neil Gorsuch joined.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was the one justice who dissented within the case, specializing in the procedural posture. She argued that, since a assessment was nonetheless pending earlier than the NLRB, a specialised physique designed to interpret such labor regulation points, the courtroom had no enterprise reviewing the case.

The courtroom beforehand heard oral arguments within the case again in January. The justices’ questions centered across the concern of preemption, which was central to Thursday’s majority opinion.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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