HR Policy Labor Counsel Calls for Expanding ERISA Preemption

December 01, 2017

HR Policy Senior Labor and Employment Counsel Roger King writes in a new paper on federal preemption that Congress should consider adopting "an expansive and comprehensive ERISA preemption model" applying to numerous state labor and employment laws.  Mr. King notes the importance preemption plays under the NLRA and ERISA, particularly in enabling multi-state employers to provide uniform benefits to their employees and operate under a uniform set of labor laws.  Mr. King points out the biggest problem with the increasing maze of state and local paid leave laws is not the differing amount of leave required, but the different and inconsistent eligibility, vesting, accrual, carryover, payout, and reinstatement rules.  Mr. King’s paper, which he presented to a New York University Law conference, cites Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219) as a desirable "safe harbor" solution to the problem, and notes "the long-range adverse policy implications of not providing a federal solution in the labor and employment area is a risk that this country should not take."